Trinity XV - St. Matthew 6:24-34

by Rev. George F. Borghardt III

In the name of Jesus. Amen. Beloved in the Lord, in Christ Jesus you are a child of God, heaven is yours, even if you have lost everything. Right now, this morning, all that Christ deserved with His holy life and innocent suffering and death is already yours. No matter what else seems true about you, right now this morning heaven is yours.

Don’t worry. Don’t fret. Don’t fear. Don’t worry about what you will eat. Don’t worry about what you will drink. Don’t worry about you wear. Don’t worry about what will happen to you.

Everything is yours right now – don’t worry. In a time of anxiety and shock, where we kind of feel like a deer in the headlights waiting for something else to rock our fragile world, our Lord puts before us the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.

Isn’t that just like Him? When our eyes are lifted toward the heavens wondering what will fallen down on us next, He directs us to His gifts – down to earth and every day – look at the birds of the air… consider the lilies of the field.

Don’t worry, the Father loves you in the cross of Christ. Don’t be afraid, He has not abandoned you. Don’t be uneasy or nervous, for the Son of God has taken upon Himself all that you have ever done and He has died in your place.

He hasn’t left you; He won’t – not after He put His name on you with the water and the Word. Don’t be anxious, for He has fed you salvation in His Body and Blood given for you to eat and drink for the remission of all your sins.

Beloved in the Lord, don’t worry about what you have, you have everything in Christ already. So, today our Lord directs us away from the weather, away from worrying, away from fear, to fix our gaze upon the birds of air and the lilies of the field.

Take your eyes off Katrina and consider how the birds, who don’t sow, reap, or work, they don’t store stuff in barns or houses, but yet the Father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than they? Of course you are. But, not in the way you think. We tend to think that there is something valuable inside of us – whether it be what we do, what we feel, what we say, or even just simply who we are.

We find our certainty before God based upon how things look around us. When things are going well, we think that it shows that God loves us. When things are going poorly for us, we begin to doubt and despair.

Does God care for me? The evidence around me is mixed. If He is caring for me, He certainly sometimes doesn’t seem to be caring for me in the way I think I need to be cared for. That is our own idolatry, which centers around our circumstances – our job, our family, our money, our house, our family, and the stuff we have. Happiness and certainty is then determined by what stuff – what mammon - is around us.

Now, it is not idolatry to be sad that you have lost everything. What you have is a gift from God, as we say in the Catechism – “He gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all that I have.” To be sad that something given to you by God is lost is not a sin.

The sin is the unbelief which forgets that God the Father has given us all things in Christ. That “He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life.”

Despair and worry stem from forgetting that He has given us all that we have – even heaven itself in Christ. We forget that He gives and gives like He did to the widow in our Old Testament lesson. The flour in the bin and joy of oil just kept giving forth more gifts.

That’s the way He is toward us in Christ Jesus – an eternal fountain that just gushes forth more gifts to us and He would have us receive them – good and bad – as gift from His hand.

Consider the lilies of the field, they neither toil nor reap, but Solomon in all his glory isn’t dressed up like one of these.

If He clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the oven, how much more will he tend to you?

He’s already tended to you with the Cross. The Son of God has taken on your flesh. He alone lived the truth that no hair, no bird falls, without the care of your Heavenly Father.

No storm occurs, no sickness, apart from Your Heavenly Father’s caring for you in Christ Jesus. Nothing happens to you apart from your baptism – that is apart from the Father giving up His Son for you.

Nothing happens to the grass of the field either apart from God - which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven. Jesus too was thrown into the oven – for you and for all. What you have suffered, He suffered more. The pain you feel, He felt more. He has taken upon Himself your sins – your suffering, your pain, even your death—and taken it away.

There is His Cross and there is His Resurrection. His – then yours delivered to your. Yours delivered to you in Baptism. His life for your life. A newness of life, from Him, with Him, and so, no more living as if He did not die and rise again for you. And so, no more worrying and no more anxiety.[1]

No more anxiety, because all things are yours in Him. No more worrying, for the Son of God took on your flesh and died in your place. Nothing will happen to you apart from the care of your Heavenly Father, who loved you in the giving up His Son.

No more fear, for the Son of God clothed you with His righteousness in Holy Baptism and gave you new life in Him. The absolute worst thing that could happen to you – death – has already happen to you in the waters of your baptism. He drowned you – under the Word and the water. That’s a happy flood which washes you unto eternal life.

No more worrying about what you will eat, for today the Son of God will put into your mouth His Body to eat and His blood to drink at His Supper for the forgiveness of sins. There forgiveness is given into your mouth at His Table and “...where there is forgiveness of sins, there is life and salvation.”

Eternal life is yours – despite what’s going on around you. Salvation is yours right now at His Supper.

Beloved in the Lord, take your eyes off the weather today. Look at the birds of the air. Consider the lilies of the field. He tends to you more than the grass of the field and the birds of the air. He tends with the Cross of Christ. All things are yours. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

"His oath, His covenant, and blood Support me in the whelming flood; When every earthly prop gives way, He then is all my Hope and Stay. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.” (TLH 370, v. 3)


[1] Dr. Norman E. Nagel, Sermon on St. Matthew 6:25-34 (Pentecost 20), Concordia Seminary, 10-14-1985

Rev. George F. Borghardt III is the Assistant Pastor of St. Mark Lutheran Church in Conroe, Texas and a member of the Editorial Board and Web Committee of Higher Things. His email address is revborghardt@higherthings.org, Check out his blog at http://blog.higherthings.org/borghardt/.