Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Live in worry live in trust: Matthew 6:24-34

Its funny to hear people talk about what makes a good sermon and then to read one of Jesus sermons. People talk about how important it is to hear the word of God and to hear about real life. Imagine Jesus' sermons as models for preaching.

Jesus' preaching was never one dimensional: He talked about everyday life, scripture, prayer, theology, heaven, hell, and God's mercy often in just one sermon. The snippet of a sermon we read from this week was given on a Mountain to a crowd who gathered to listen to Jesus teach and who heard him declare a vision of God at work in the world..

Jesus' words challenged his hearers not to worry; but to be open to God's work in the world. He reminded them about God's care for his creatures, especially for us humans who were created in the Father's image. He offered a challenge: not to worry about the things we need in this world . He made a promise that God who cares for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field would care for us too.

The people who came to listen to Jesus were searching for a leader, a hero, who would set them free. They'd heard about healing, miracles, and daemons who'd been caste out. They didn't want to intellectually understand God's will. They wanted to know their place in the world what God wanted them to know and to experience. They wanted to experience it; and from what they'd heard and some had seen Jesus was the one. They were looking for a deliverer who would set them free from Roman Imperial power to be God's chosen nation. Jesus came to set the world free from sin and death.

Jesus offered his hearers then and today a freedom that this world can't give; a freedom from striving for things and an opportunity to live in the Kingdom of God right now instead.


david said...

Such a simple truth, they came to hear Jesus teach and they heard about God's vision and work in the world. If only preachers would keep this simple truth in mind while preparing and preaching their sermons.

Thanks for the post.

LawAndGospel said...

Loved this. A freedom and a peace the world cannot give. Timely indeed.