Fifteenth Sunday after Holy Trinity
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Baptism of Ethan Fry
Matthew 6:24-34 You Cannot Serve God & Mammon
Grace and mercy to you David and Johnnie, Noah and Adam. Relatives and friends. Congregation of Our Savior Lutheran Church. Grace and mercy to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
It is written: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Let us pray: Gracious Creator Father, who gave Ethan Michael his first birth by means of his mom and dad and gave has now given him his second birth by means of water and the Holy Spirit, grant all of us to serve You, the true God, alone; in the name of Jesus. Amen.
You cannot serve God and money. This is a saying that gives faithful Christians pause. We need money for many things. We need money to pay the bills. We need to save money for school and retirement. So what does it mean, “You cannot serve God and money.”
The old term is mammon. Mammon is money but it is unneeded money. So this mammon or unneeded money is not the money needed to pay bills, tuition, or even your retirement nestegg. Unneeded money is that large rainy day fund that never gets used.
A clear but uncomfortable example is our congregational building fund. It was started with good intentions but with no new building it has become a diversion. This is our congregational repentance for the day. A repentance that leads to the faith to give that money to someone who needs it. For example, our mammon could fund a missionary family for two years to plant a faithful church body. Or our mammon could fully fund up to three seminarians to serve 40 years each without school debt.
David and Johnnie, you did not come here this morning to hear about mammon. You came to have your third child baptized.
Your wealth is your children. This is a work of God.
Jesus is teaching us to trust in Him, saying “You cannot serve two masters, for either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
David you work hard to pay the bills. Johnnie you work hard as a stay at home mom. All the more to remain devoted to Jesus first, then each other and the children. Why, because Jesus carries your burdens of repentant and believing sinners.
Ethan is baptized.
David, you are a dad and an outdoorsman. Jesus has given the birds of the air to remind you of Him. Trust Jesus and look to the birds of the air during those times when you become anxious about your wife and children, what they will eat or what they will drink or what they will wear. The birds neither sow nor reap nor gather excess wealth into barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. David, you and Johnnie and Noah and Adam and Ethan are more valuable than the birds of the air. Turn from anxiety and believe that Jesus is taking care of you and your family.
Johnnie, you are a mom. Jesus has given the lilies of the field to remind you of Him. Trust Jesus and consider how the flowers grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet even king Solomon did not dress better than the flowers of the field. The Lord dresses the flowers. Johnnie, you and David and Noah and Adam and Ethan are more beautiful than the flowers.
Trust Jesus. Jesus is God’s wealth. Our Father did not keep Jesus from you but sent Him to you; to bear your burdens; to bear your unbelief. The Father store up His wealth in barns. The Father spent all He had on you.
Our Father put His Son to death so that your son Ethan may live; not just for a season but even through death and for eternity in the resurrection of Ethan’s body which you hold.
Our Father stripped Jesus of His beauty so that Ethan is dressed more beautifully than King Solomon; more beautifully than the flowers.
May we all repent of our anxiety by giving away our unneeded wealth to someone who could use it and live by faith in Jesus our Savior.
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble; in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.