Saturday after Invocavit
Scripture: St. Luke 12:1-34 (NKJV)
12:1 In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.
4 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
8 “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 9 But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.
11 “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
13 Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” 15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’
18 “So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”‘
20 “But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?
27 “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? 29 And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.
32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
The sad fact is that we worry. Though we are Christians, and have been told numerous times not to worry, WE WORRY! Try as we might to keep from worrying, we find ourselves worrying. There is just so much that goes on in our lives that we find it impossible not to worry. We find it all too easy to slide into the ditch of despair.
There is one word in today’s reading that should bring us comfort. That word is “little.” Our Lord understand our condition better than we. He so understands us, that He both warns and chastises those whom He loves about the fact they worry, as well as comforting us by telling us that we still have faith, “little” though it be.
What we need to remember is that faith is God’s work in us. Though we find we are oft times unfaithful and of “little faith,” He remains faithful and keeps us in faith. Thus, we have the importance of daily repentance. Through it the Holy Spirit drowns the old Adam so the new man can serve Christ. Why daily repentance? Well, as someone once said, “The old Adam is a good swimmer.” Every day our old Adam struggles to throw off faith through worry. But Christ continues to hold onto us. More than that, He strengthens our “little faith” through His Word of forgiveness, the forgiveness of the very sin of worry.
Naught, naught, can now condemn me
Nor set my hope aside;
Now hell no more can claim me.
Its fury I deride.
No sentence e’er reproves me,
No ill destroys my peace;
For Christ, my Savior, loves me
And shields me with His grace. (TLH – 528, st. 6)
Prayer: Gracious Heavenly Father, keep me steadfast in the true faith. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.