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Monday, March 27, 2017

03262017 - 4th Sunday in Lent - “God cures our anxiety by giving us His Son!!”

March 26, 2017
“God cures our anxiety by giving us His Son!!”
Have you ever had your stomach tie itself into knots?  Your palms begin to sweat?  The room you are in seems to be crowding in on you, like in Star Wars, with Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca?  For some this happened on their wedding day, others when they are on an interview for their first job and still others, when they are called on while sitting in the classroom surrounded by their peers or even here in the church.  We become anxious and are unsure what the outcome will be in our lives and the experiences we are currently having.  We are at times uncertain, whether we will be able to cover the note for the farm, pay the bill that just came due, answer the question that is posed to us by our teacher, or even when we are treated like child instead of a child of God.
This is the reality that is being lived out today, whether in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas or elsewhere that have been recently touched by the devastating fires, the lack of rain or the doubt that we live in of the future of family farms even right here in Northwestern Kansas.  Our anxiety clearly and unmistakably overcomes us, because we don’t know if what we have invested our lives into and what has been passed down from generation to generation will be lost, in a moment, with a stray ember fanned by the winds we know so well or if the prices of wheat, corn or inputs will put us out of business.
Jesus clearly understood anxiety very well.  Yet, Jesus in a calmness from our Gospel reading this morning reminds us of Solomon and how even the ‘lilies of the field’ are clothed in their splendor.  And life is more than what we eat or what we wear.  These earthly things will pass away, but what God offers us isn’t earthly but eternal.
Many times, when I teach, whether the Book of Mark bible study, Lutheranism 101, confirmation, Simple Worship or even when I visit families or individuals who are distressed over current situations, I remind them of something that the devil wants us to doubt.  First, that God loves us more than the stuff we own or surround ourselves with.  Second, God’s love is eternal, never ending and never changing.  And third, God knows what we need even before we ask for it.
This is why Jesus says it clearly, ‘seek first the kingdom of God’.  The Kingdom of God is found clearly and specifically in the gift of His Son Jesus Christ.  No truer words could be said then, “God cures our anxiety by giving us His Son!!”  God cures our doubts, our fears, our nervousness and especially our anxiety, because He gives us His Son Jesus Christ.  The gift of Jesus Christ is given to us out of God’s love for us and “God cures our anxiety by giving us His Son!!”
Some would rightly say this is an opportunity for exercise, but exercise of what it might be asked?  As Christians, the answer though simple, requires a lot from us.  It is the exercise of the muscle of faith given to us in our baptism.  When we are at our lowest, we feel alone, but God is clearly here with us and wanting us to walk with Him and work with Him clearly and in faith for what He has in store.  This is the exercise that builds us up in order for His Glory to be revealed for us in using our faith muscle.  And this exercise is where “God cures our anxiety by giving us His Son” Jesus Christ.
This morning we were reminded of a man and a people who had great anxiety.  Moses, who stood before Pharaoh by command of God, had great anxiety of what the immediate future would hold.  He had led the people of Israel out of Egypt and slavery and would eventually lead them to where they would enter the promise land.  Yet, Moses, though he did not know what was to come, followed God’s command and exercised his muscle of faith in obedience to the will and the way of God.  For Moses believed with every fiber of his being in what God would accomplish and that it was in the future and his anxiety would pass away, because of God’s love for him and all of mankind.  This is why Moses willingly prepared the tablets.  For, God through Moses gave the law and knew His Son Jesus would fulfill the law for us!

And we who gather here today, who pray the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples can exercise our muscle of faith, given to us through our Holy Baptism.  For no better gift and expression of love by God is seen than what we celebrate on Christmas, receive from the altar and believe with every fiber of our being.  The gift of God’s Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ!!  This is why we can clearly, emphatically and willingly exercise our muscle of faith and believe in God’s love of and for all of mankind including each and every one of us and that “God cures our anxiety by giving us His Son” Jesus Christ!!!!  AMEN.

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