SERMONS

There’s a story in this month’s Living Lutheran online and print magazine that tells about how Lim Forgey, the music minister at Christ Lutheran Church, Visalia, California, noticed children playing outside the dumpster by the church. Lim noticed that one of the children wasn’t even wearing shoes. (Living Lutheran, Nov. 2018)

Now there are many stories in the news about children in need in this country and around the world, stories of families stuck in hard times because of job loss or illness, because they’ve had to flee violence and are stuck in refugee camps or at borders. It can be easy to lose heart when we read or hear or watch about such stories day after day.

In our postmodern era, some have asserted that truth is all relative to one’s perspective. Yet it is our perspective that is relative, not truth. How I experience the taste and feel of water is my perspective, not whether water exists. How people perceive and experience racism or other “isms” varies dramatically based on our upbringing, social standing, the color of our skin and host of other factors, but there is no disputing that racism exists. 

What does it take to change the world? 
Everything.

What does Jesus give for the sake of our lives and the world?
Everything.

Just like the widow in today’s Gospel story, who puts everything she has into the temple coffer, Jesus holds back nothing when it comes to this world. The teaching and healing of his earthly journey - Jesus says, “I give them to you.” My last breath from the cross and first breath after I am raised from the dead - Jesus says, “I give them to you.”

Beautiful scripture passages again today. These weeks that we have been in have been full of scripture lessons saturated with beauty. In particular this scripture text that we heard from Ephesians a few moments ago will always hold a special place in my heart.

…be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, 20 giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:19, 20)

Just as it is the nature of bread to feed the belly, it is God’s nature to seek us out time and time again to feed and nurture all of our hungry places. God reached out to the prophet Elijah, fresh off the success of casting aside false prophets, yet finding himself so unhappy as to wish for God to take away his life. God fed Elijah’s body and spirit, finding him in his wilderness and renewing him.

We hear, “I am the bread of life,” and we know that Jesus, God-made-flesh, has offered himself as a blessing to feed us, and the world, in all our wilderness places. (John 6:35)