Vicar's Devotions

posted Dec 20, 2015, 6:51 PM by Emmanuel Lutheran Church   [ updated Aug 13, 2019, 8:05 AM ]

Brothers and Sister in Christ,

 As I write this, Sarah and I are in the midst of finalizing the financials for college tuition for not just one, but now two of our boys who will be starting classes next week. In the meantime, we are still trying to cope with the very high premiums that the insurance company is charging for those same two boys so they can drive. And wow!, can those boys eat! It is still a mystery to me how my wife and I can do our tour of local grocery stores, trying the get the best deals, spend $200-300, and be out of food 5 days later. On top of all this, Sarah has discovered that she will have 25 students in her class this year (did I mentioned she teaches 1st grade) and a brand new teaching assistant. Meanwhile, the housing market is starting to soften up, so at my other job, our sales for new homes are down. Not a good thing. These days, it seems that we live in a constant state of anxiety. Well, at the very least, I think we have many reasons to be anxious about a good many things. How about you? Do you have stress and/or other things going on in your life that cause you anxiety?

 Against this background, it is odd to hear Jesus saying in our Gospel yesterday from Luke 12: 22-34, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. ... Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?" Anxious? Yes, indeed, we are anxious! We worry about our children, our jobs, our health. We grow anxious when a spouse is angry, an election draws near, a major bill comes in the mail. Life is just one big ball of anxiety! Who can help us?

 Against all of this, Jesus says, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious .... All the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

 Yes, in this world we are faced with many challenges, issues, situations that causes anxiety, but we do not have to face it alone. Our lives may be full of stress, but Jesus is with us as He has always been—walking with us, holding us in His hands, keeping us in His care. Nothing can take God's love away from us. Nothing, not even death—not even death on a cross!—can keep Jesus from the people He came to save. He has risen from the dead, and He promises to be with us forever. He will never leave us alone—not in this life, and not in the life to come.