Sorry, worry, but we live by Trust / Luke 12:22-30 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / Sunday August 7th, 2022 / Season of Pentecost / Mount Olive Lutheran Church
Text: Luke 12:22-30
Theme: Sorry, worry, but we live by Trust
Intr – I hope you don't mind that I will do my sermon sitting in this rocking chair here. But I wanted to be seated as I talk to you because I've got a list of worrying things I wish to bring to your attention so that you start to worry about it, I think it’s important that we all do:
-Will gas prices go up again?
-Chain supply problems. Will it last longer? Will I still have what to eat in 2030?
-You should start thinking of adding more days to your life, perhaps by eating healthier, or obeying God better;
-Car window smashing - break and enters - are on the rise in Regina, especially on Sunday morning in Church parking lots I hear;
-Are you sure you did your hair nicely today? Because maybe that’s why you caught people looking at you;
-A bill is being voted to raise the taxes by 35% in pensions of Canadians 60+ years old;
-what if that asteroid that passed combing Earth’s atmosphere last week had hit our planet?
-Did you know that people who live in countries of the northern hemisphere could be more liable to blood and heart issues?
-btw, speaking of looking at you, perhaps I might have heard some people by the Church door talking and I might or might not have heard your name or not as the subject of the conversation;
-Chances are dim, but sometimes Church pews break during Services; and screens like this one here sometimes fall on people, as it happened in Taiwan the other day;
-Will this rocking chair break under the Pastor’s weight?
Now, please listen the Gospel for today again: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?”
Wait a minute…. are you really paying attention to my reading?
Well, maybe you’re not so much. I was reading the part where Jesus talks about not being worried, but while I was reading it maybe you were thinking about some of those worries I proposed to you. Some of them you might have thought of before, but some of them could be brand new.
(Stands) Worry. There’s a phrase that says: “Worry is like sitting in a rocking chair; it keeps you occupied/busy, but you doesn’t take you anywhere.” Especially when many of them are completely useless.
Aha!, you will say, “but you were starting a sermon where we are supposed to pay attention to you, Pastor; plus, you asked us to do so, that’s why we did it”. Fair enough. But again, that reinforces my point in today.
1 – Pointless worry
The topic Jesus tackles here never gets old: pointless, useless worry. Now, when we look to the context, we see that this speech comes after Jesus tells the parable of the rich man, who thought of building bigger storage rooms for all his possessions, but who was about to see the end of his life on earth on that very night. Think about it: money, possessions, is arguably worry number 1 around the globe, the biggest worry of all; but Jesus adds it to the context in which is becomes a useless worry. That per se already teaches us a lot.
You don’t make all that you have, and you won’t take with you anything that you have. We are all called to be faithful in our vocations working to provide for us and for others. But being faithful to what we obtain, instead of to the One who enabled us to obtain it leads to useless worry. Some people say you only get to know your family for sure when a will needs to be exacted. Unfortunately that holds true in so many cases, underlining how pointless is to live a life where possessions become our foremost and almost only worry.
2 – Who is telling you what you should be worried about?
Sometimes you worry about things you wouldn’t be worrying about unless somebody pointed you to. Since it is made so, now you can’t help but thinking that this is a thing you should be worried about.
_The news anchor;
_The news magazine with “new things” that will discredit the Bible;
-The “friend” reminding you what other people will think of you;
-The worry about what is the right word to say, the word to avoid, the pronoun to use, the picture to post online, ….
-Your own thoughts trying to point you to the ugly or awkward part of your body, to the terrible job you have, how much more you should be doing, the places you didn’t go, the things you didn’t do;
Are we really paying attention to what we have been paying attention to, and sorting through the wheat and the chaff? Who are we allowing to point us to what we should be worrying about?
Back to our illustration: you only worried about some topics of that list because I asked you to. But another thing to factor in is the fact that I am a person who occupies a place of some authority in your life, spiritual authority. You trust me; that’s why you followed my suggestion.
What are the people, circumstances, objects, things out there we may be giving authority in our life as to its direction purpose and meaning, dragging us through into the muddy terrain of useless, dangerous and even damning worries? Something to keep a close eye on, otherwise, we might become a rocking chair, moving back and forth, going nowhere but always occupied in our minds.
3 – Sorry, worry
If there is one worry that we would have is about our future. What should I do, what can I do to get rid of my sins and live forever? Because after this life there are only two destinations: with God; or separated from Him. Forever. That worry is already taken care of. Jesus nailed it to His Cross on a Friday morning, taking away our worry about sin, death and condemnation.
Now as we live life by faith in Him, we still live in a world where we may be pointed to different directions as to what to worry about. Who are we perking our ears to, who are we giving authority to tell us what should we worry about?
What Jesus is telling you ultimately is that you can look worry in the eyes and say: “Sorry worry, but we live by trust”. When then worry stares you back, or the worry pointers stare you back and ask how can you be so sure of not worrying? Then you can resolutely answer them:
1st I didn’t say I don’t worry. I said that I don’t live by it;
2nd The biggest worry of all, the one that could really kill me forever, is already killed. My eyes are pointed to the Cross where the worry of sin, devil and death was forever killed;
3rd – My heart is anchored in a worry free harbour of God’s Word;
4th, I look to the birds on the air, as my Saviour told me to do (Luke 12)
5th – I look to the water (Baptism);
6th – I look to the bread and wine (Holy Supper), Christ in us with his body and blood;
The list can go on. But what you will repeat definitely is: “Sorry, worry, but we live by trust”. That applies to Abraham’s life, as seen in Genesis 15. That applies to the listeners of Hebrews, where we learn (chapter 11) that without faith it’s impossible to please God.
That applies to our daily life as well. When you are cured from a terrible disease, do you still walk as if you had it? Probably not, for now your life is different, full of renewed joy and hope. Does that mean you are immune to other diseases and troubles? We know that is not true.
Now, when you walk in this life knowing that you have been healed by Jesus, doesn’t that change our walk in life? Yes, you walk differently, even as you’re still liable to other consequences of sin in this life. But you don’t worry about it because you walk in the hands of the One who washed our worries with His blood.
When Jesus talks about worry, He is not aiming at perfection. I don’t think He is imagining that listening to Him we will live worry-free. He knows we are sinners and will eventually worry again. Even because there are some real life situations that are really reason for us to worry and to figure out what the next steps look like. He is actually showing how fragile we are and how much we need to trust in him. Here’s an illustration (The Circles):
-We all have worries (red circle) and they may drain our energy. Especially when we think we are the ones in charge of taking care of them all (small green circle “you”). Christ invites us to remember that we live not by worry but by trust (bigger green circle: “He is with you”). The circle of worries may remain the same size, as this one here. But he strengthens us to live life living by trust, in and with His presence.
By the way, some of the worries I brought to you weren’t even real news. The one about the taxes; or car break and enters on Sunday mornings. Not even about the rocking chair, because I’ve lost 25 pounds recently so that would never happen… Just like in real life, when we create worries so that we can be occupied with them. Pay attention where your attention is being drawn to; who is drawing it. Keep your eyes on source of your Trust in the midst of every worry is.
Cc - We live by faith. Worry will be there, for we are sinners. But Christ will be at the center of everything for we are saved forgiven sinners. As opposed to the rocking chair, He is the Rock of our salvation on which our life is built upon, keeps us busy with His Word and leads us somewhere: the place that will be our eternal Home. That place rocks!
 "Falling screen hits 2 dancers on stage at Hong Kong concert" - https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4610085
 Luke 12: 13-21
 John 3:16-21
 Colossians 2;14
 2 Peter 5:8
 Psalm 37:5; Hebrews 11
 2 Timothy 3:14-17