The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream


NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Monday, September 25, 2017

Waterloo Lutheran Seminary to be renamed Martin Luther University College | TheRecord.com

 The old building? That's the new one!
Wait, it was new when I went there 48 years ago.


Waterloo Lutheran seminary to be renamed Martin Luther University College | TheRecord.com:



"A new logo for the renamed seminary is being designed to go along with the new name.

"The name Waterloo Lutheran Seminary — which once accurately described who we were when we were primarily a denominational school — no longer reflects who we have become," Harris said.

"We continue to have a (Master of Divinity) program training Lutheran clergy and clergy from a number of other Christian denominations as well. But, in fact, the M-Div is now the smallest program in the school. Our largest program, the one we feel very strongly about, is the Masters in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy.""


 I feel strongly about the doggy dropin
at the seminary chapel.



'via Blog this'

 The chapel then - 1970.

 The chapel now, viewed from the chancel.

Lutheran seminary to be renamed Martin Luther University College | TheRecord.com

Lutheran seminary to be renamed Martin Luther University College | TheRecord.com:



"A new logo for the renamed seminary is being designed to go along with the new name.

"The name Waterloo Lutheran Seminary — which once accurately described who we were when we were primarily a denominational school — no longer reflects who we have become," Harris said.

"We continue to have a (Master of Divinity) program training Lutheran clergy and clergy from a number of other Christian denominations as well. But, in fact, the M-Div is now the smallest program in the school. Our largest program, the one we feel very strongly about, is the Masters in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy.""



'via Blog this'

Twin Stone Warden: Objective & Subjective Justification -- Pastors Todd Wilken & Rolf Preus

 Sure - we heard the terms Objective Justification
and Subjective Justification from the Calvinist Woods
who translated the rationalistic Pietist Knapp into English:
best seller ever since, still in print.


Twin Stone Warden: Objective & Subjective Justification -- Pastors Todd Wilken & Rolf Preus:


"Have you heard the terms "objective justification" and "subjective justification"? Have you had questions about them? Have you been confounded by them?

Be of good cheer!

Pastor Todd Wilken interviews Pastor Rolf Preus on Issues, Etc., on "Objective & Subjective Justification." Listen to this clarifying and faith-strengthening broadcast on demand."



'via Blog this'

 Quistorp the Pietist also agrees.
Could it be the Calvinistic influence?

UOJists used to cite Romans 4:25!!!
until I began quoting the verse that goes with Romans 4:25!!!

Mark Jeske Unites ELCA-WELS-ELS-LCMS with UOJ and Church Growth.
The Fulleroids Win Amid the Crumbling Synods



ELCA Pastor Chick Lane

Pastor Charles (Chick) Lane serves as the Director of the Center for Stewardship Leaders at Luther Seminary - ELCA, St. Paul, Minnesota. He graduated from Luther College - ELCA, Decorah, Iowa, and Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota. He served St. Mark Lutheran Church, Butler, PA; St. Phillip’s Lutheran Church, Fridley, MN; and Immanuel Lutheran Church, Wadena, MN. He served as Assistant to the Bishop in the Northwestern Minnesota Synod, ELCA, from 1996-2005, and as Director for Stewardship Key Leader, ELCA, from 2005-2010. Pastor Lane is the author of Ask, Thank, Tell: Improving Stewardship Ministry in Your Congregation, published by Augsburg Fortress - ELCA - in 2006, and the annual stewardship program Walk with Jesus, published by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 2006. He is also the author of several articles on stewardship.

First Presbyterian Church Brighton - Stewardship Presentation - Grace Duddy Pomroy

This Stewardship weekend is offered by: Brighton First Presbyterian Church in partnership with The Presbyterian Foundation. First Presbyterian Church is located at 510 S. 27th Avenue in Brighton


Grace Duddy Pomroy
Embracing Stewardship, LLC and Portico Benefit Services
Grace Duddy Pomroy is a millennial stewardship ministry leader. She graduated from Luther Seminary in 2012 with a Master’s of Arts degree in Congregational Mission and Leadership. She served as the Assistant Director of the Center for Stewardship Leaders at Luther Seminary and the Executive Director of Operations for Kairos and Associates and the Joshua Group. She is the co-author of the recently published stewardship book, Embracing Stewardship: How to Put Stewardship at the Heart of Your Congregation’s Life, as well as author of the 2013 ELCA stewardship resource, “Stewards of God’s Love.” She lives in Apple Valley with her husband, Tyler. She is currently the Financial Education Specialist at Portico Benefit Services.

ELCA Pastor Jodi Houge -
Luther Seminary, ELCA, graduate. "
A missional church at its core, outreach is part of everything Humble Walk does, 'often as if we’re on the edge of disaster,' laughs Jodi."


Biography

Pastor at Humble Walk Lutheran Chuch, St. Paul, MN
Jodi Houge was raised by North Dakota potato growers. Incidentally, she likes watching things grow. In 2008, Jodi started Humble Walk Lutheran Church in a coffee shop during her last year of seminary and has been running to catch up with where this community leads her ever since. Humble Walk is filled with people on the last train out of Christianity-who have decided to give it one more go. Being the pastor of this new church plant provides stories of hope every single day. She spends a good deal of time drinking coffee and observing life in the West End of St Paul, MN--where she lives with her husband and 2 offspring. Her friends would describe her as a good eater.

Why Church Hymns Are Best Sung in Bars

Jodi Houge, a pastor in Minnesota, talks about the shifting church culture in the U.S. and what it’s like to hold services in coffee shops and bars.




 At least we're not ELCA!

 "Not yet!"


Football Follies. They Have Doomed Themselves - A Middle - Not a Passive

The passive voice would be - are doomed by...
but the middle voice means - they have doomed themselves.

Mark Jeske has proven that with Change or Die!


I am football free already until January each year. I used to make an exception for Notre Dame, but I really do have other things to do in 2017.

Disrespect has been the theme of the Lutheran synods for decades now. The LCMS, WELS, ELS, CLC, and ELDONUTs are just as bad as ELCA, but the smaller sects still try out their superior act on the innocent and uninformed.

The LCMS-WELS-ELS show disrespect for:

  • Faithful translations - they endorse the feminist UOJist NIV or the feminist revision of the RSV - the ESV. The ESV advocates consider themselves superior to the NIV fan club.
  • Christian doctrine - they have joined the Gadarene stampede for Barth, Tillich, and C. Peter Wagner, holding their collective snouts whenever Luther is mentioned.
  • Church music - they have disrespected musicians and pipe organs for decades, replacing them with tinny little praise bands and non-musicians.
  • Church workers - The synod presidents support adulterous drunken workers while undermining the faithful. 
  • Stewardship - They fraudulently plead for "mission" money when enormous sums are spent feeding their fat bellies and contributing to their alcoholism. 
  • The Truth - They gloat about their ability to spin the facts and fool people. For decades, LCMS-WELS-ELS pretended to have problems with Fuller and Church Growth, while spending millions with "free" tuition (your money) and expensive, worthless programs. Every DP got his title by pretending, so he is not going to change after being enthroned.
 "Don't say the synod.
ALL OF US - we are the synod."
I heard that claim in the LCA and WELS.
And of course - "the synod says..."

Many of the Stephanites and ELDONUTs hold themselves superior to the rest, because they use the ESV and not the NIV, but they will not mention any version of the KJV. Big money is made from the NIV and ESV, but not from the KJV.

 Donut disturb ELDONUTs with the facts.





The beginning of the ESV was May 1997 with a meeting headed by James Dobson. Dobson was deeply troubled with the gender-inclusive issues within the NIV and TNIV. The results of the meeting was the "proposed" creation of a new version without the new-age, homosexual, gender-incusive agenda. Surprisingly, the “troubled” group united around the liberal and apostate Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible. Thus the dubious birth of the ESV was conceived. In September 1998, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School professor Wayne Grudem and Crossway President Lane Dennis received the blessing of the ecumenical National Council of Churches to build the ESV upon their 1971 revision of the Revised Standard Version. And thus the ESV came to life. . .

World Magazine documents the secretive conception of the ESV:

“The version [ESV] had its roots in discussions that took place before the May 1997 meeting called by James Dobson at Focus on the Family headquarters to resolve the inclusive NIV issue. . . The group discussed the merits of the Revised Standard Version, first published in 1952 by the National Council of Churches and recently replaced by the New Revised Standard Version, a regendered update. Some months later, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School professor Wayne Grudem and Crossway President Lane Dennis entered into negotiations with the National Council of Churches to use the 1971 revision of the Revised Standard Version as the basis for a new translation.”
(David Bayly, “Decline of the NIV?”, World Magazine, 5 June 1999)

Wikipedia states concerning the motive for the ESV:

“Work on this translation began with discontent (largely amongst Evangelical Christians) over the perceived looseness of style and content of recently published English Bible translations, as well as the apparent trend toward gender-neutral language in translations such as the Today's New International Version and the New Revised Standard Version, among others.”
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Standard_Version)

The primary premise for the ESV was to combat the gender-neutral changes infiltrating many other popular versions. The term “gender-neutral” refers to removing the masculine references such as “he, him, man, father, brother, brethren” and replace them with gender-neutral words such as “they, people, person, human” etc. These changes occur to support the homosexual-equal-rights-unisexual-new-age agenda and totally ignore the masculine gender within the Greek text (of any manuscript).  (See our detailed review of the TNIV at www.av1611.org/kjv/tniv_intro.html)

And how did the ESV perform in combating the gender-neutral language?

Dr. Mark L. Strauss, author of Distorting Scripture?: The Challenge of Bible Translation & Gender Accuracy, writes concerning the “gender-neutral language” of the ESV:

“The recently published English Standard Version (ESV; Crossway Bibles, 2001) is a revision of the Revised Standard Version (RSV, 1952).  One of the major areas of revision in the ESV is the introduction of gender-inclusive language (sometimes called gender-neutral language).  In hundreds of cases the ESV introduces terms like ‘one’ or ‘person’ or ‘others’ for the RSV’s masculine generic terms ‘man’ and ‘men.’ . . .
In this way, the ESV is very much like the recently published Today’s New International Version (TNIV), which revises the New International Version (NIV) in a similar manner. . .”
(Strauss, Mark L. Strauss. The Gender-Neutral Language of the English Standard Version (ESV))

Remember, the primary reason Dobson and crew devised the ESV was to counter the introduction of gender-neutral language in the new versions.And yet, the ESV did the same thing!

Dr. Strauss relates the “odd and ironic” infiltration of gender-neutral changes in the ESV because the ESV publishers and promoters were “some of the strongest attacks against the gender language of the TNIV”. Remember, that was the supposed “purpose” of the ESV – to counter the gender-neutral agenda. . .

“What is odd and ironic is that the some of the strongest attacks against the gender language of the TNIV are coming from those who produced similar gender changes in the ESV.  One has to wonder therefore whether these attacks are motivated as much from ideological and marketing concerns related to the ESV as from a concern for fidelity in translation.”
(Strauss, Mark L. Strauss. The Gender-Neutral Language of the English Standard Version (ESV))

Can you spell “H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E”?

And this is no small change. For instance, the word “man, men” is “neutered” in the ESV 968 times. The masculine pronoun, “he, him, his” is neutered 1832 times! And the new-age, evolutionist, neuter buzz-word “human” is employed 63 times.

How can key Christian leaders assemble, conceive and design a counter-attack against the “gender-neutral” Bible version invasion and yet when the plan is actually implemented the exact opposite occurs? Did they deceive themselves? What happened to their original convictions? It’s almost as if someone else took over and changed their course of action? Who could have done such a subtle and sinister deed? [Hint” He tempted Eve (and damned mankind) with the simple, subtle question “Yea, hath God said?” (Genesis 3:1)] While some may scoff at that allegation, there is no doubt in this author’s mind that the subtle serpent of Genesis 3 was at work. What other explanation can rationalize such a total change of course?

The following are a few examples (from the thousands) of gender-neutral changes flooding the ESV. Notice, replacing “man” with the generic term “person, human, peoples, one” etc. significantly deflects the direct application of the verse.

Mathew 5:13
KJB
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

ESV
"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.



Mathew 19:23-24
KJB
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

ESV
And Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven.
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."



Romans 3:4
KJB
God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

ESV
By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, "That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged."



Romans 3:28
KJB
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

ESV
For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.



Romans 5:7
KJB
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

ESV
For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die--



Romans 10:10
KJB
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

ESV
For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.



1 Corinthians 2:11
KJB
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

ESV
For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

Notice in the following verses that “man” is replaced with “human, human being”. Now honestly, is there anybody that really believes “human” is easier to read or clearer than “man”? Does any “human” on the planet really believe that “man” is archaic or outdated and that a new Bible version is required to replace “man” with “human”? Apparently, Dobson, Crossway, and the ESV “boys” do. . .

1 Corinthians 2:13-14
KJB
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 

ESV
And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.



1 Corinthians 4:3
KJB
But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.

ESV
But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.



Act 17:25 (notice “worship” is dulled to “served”)
KJB
Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

ESV
nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.



Romans 2:9
KJB
Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

ESV
There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek,



Romans 3:5
KJB
But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)

ESV
But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.)



Romans 6:19
KJB
I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

ESV
I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.



1 Corinthians 2:13
KJB
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

ESV
And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.



1 Corinthians 3:3
KJB
For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

ESV
for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?



1 Corinthians 9:8
KJB
Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?

ESV
Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same?



Galatians 3:15
KJB
Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

ESV
To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified.



Ephesians 4:14
KJB
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of menandcunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

ESV
so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.



Philippians 2:8
KJB
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

ESV
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.



Colossians 2:8
KJB
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

ESV
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.



James 3:8
KJB
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

ESV
but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.



1 Peter 2:13
KJB
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

ESV
Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme,



1 Peter 4:2
KJB
That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

ESV
so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.

***

GJ - Note that the National Council of Churches was simply a rebranding of the Federal Council of Churches, a group so Communist that they had to change the name. The NCC's RSV was the first translation ever to remove the Virgin Birth from Isaiah 7. They back-tracked but put in a footnote to thumb their snouts at the Fundies who objected.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Not from The Onion or the Babylon Bee ELCA Sells Seminary to Muslims




Dear California Lutheran partners and friends,
I am very pleased to report that the Marin Avenue, Berkeley, campus of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary has been sold to Zaytuna College.

Zaytuna is the first accredited Muslim undergraduate institution in the United States. It was formed from Zaytuna Institute in 2009, and moved to Berkeley in 2010 to work with the likes of the University of California-Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union (GTU). Zaytuna is a WASC-accredited liberal arts college whose mission is to “educate and prepare morally committed professional, intellectual, and spiritual leaders who are grounded in the Islamic scholarly tradition and conversant with the cultural currents and critical ideas shaping modern society.” The purchase of the Marin campus will help them in the process of becoming a full member of the GTU as they develop their first master’s degree program.

Cal Lutheran is delighted that the property is going to another non-profit, faith-based educational institution, one that is committed to preserving the campus and its buildings. We heard clearly from the neighbors that they wanted the new owner to have those characteristics and we are glad that Zaytuna aligns with their vision for the property. We are also very pleased that this transition occurs across two faith traditions and shows that cooperation and collaboration are the way forward.

Great thanks are due to former Regent Rod Gilbert who volunteered his time and real estate expertise to find appropriate potential buyers. Rod worked very closely with Vice President for Administration and Finance Karen Davis and Zaytuna’s representatives to bring the transfer to a quick and mutually beneficial conclusion.

As PLTS settles into its new home on Center Street, we give thanks that the Marin campus is in such good hands and look forward to partnering with Zaytuna in the GTU.


Best,


ELCA is a bit...different.

So is WELS.
Martin Luther College is not far behind.

The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity, 2017. Matthew 6:24-34


The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity, 2017

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson





The Hymn #396                               O For a Faith                                                            
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual       
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed             p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #657                           Beautiful Savior                               


Greed and Anxiety 


The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn #23                        Hallelujah! Let Praises Ring                                       

KJV Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.  4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.  5 For every man shall bear his own burden.  6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.  7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

KJV Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

FIFTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY
Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank Thee for all Thy benefits: that Thou hast given us life and graciously sustained us unto this day: We beseech Thee, take not Thy blessing from us; preserve us from covetousness, that we may serve Thee only, love and abide in Thee, and not defile ourselves by idolatrous love of mammon, but hope and trust only in Thy grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.


Greed and Anxiety 


KJV Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

This is one of the most telling comparisons in the Bible, and we live it - so we must know it. For example, I have two classes of English, both with the same materials, syllabus, the same teacher with the same approach. One is a treat to be with twice a week. The other is difficult. My wife asks, "Is it that bad?" We cannot help but compare. 

Or someone has two jobs or even three. One is the best. The others are done out of necessity. No matter how things develop, we have those efforts we treasure and those we consider a burden. I am glad no publishing house grabbed me, because I would have been so tired of discussing books and reading them all day that I would never have written anything. It is borrowed time, so much more fun than serving under the Law and punching a clock.

With these things considered, which are true for all of us, we can start to see the point Jesus is making. We cannot serve two equally. I know of people who join a church with their weekly income in mind. If they attend a rich church with a lot of people, they can make a lot more money for themselves. One family was famous for splitting up into five different congregations, between the husband, wife, and three adult children. Everyone knew what that meant. They were poised to pick up business as undertakers. 

Luther definitely picks up on the comparison, and he is quite brutal about it. One example is the person who is afraid of leaving a dollar on the window, lest it be stolen - it is so precious to him. And yet he can do without the Gospel for a whole year because it means so little to him. And he also emphasizes that knowing the Gospel is not enough - we must also live according to it. That is the true meaning of faith, that we take the teaching of Christ into our hearts so much that it moves us to live according to it, which is against human nature in its unconverted state.

As Adam Smith said, "A dog will not give up a bigger bone in exchange for a smaller one." So we naturally eye the things we want and measure our actions accordingly.

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 

If we use the Gospel of John to shed light on this, we can see that the Good Shepherd is directing our thoughts to the treasure of the Gospel rather than the needs of the day. Luther stated in his second sermon on this text  that the two great sins are greed (avarice) and anxiety.

Some have far more than enough (the definition of mammon) and desire even more, because that is their god. Others suffer from high costs or low salaries and become anxious about the future. Also, a financial crisis may come up as a surprise and wipe out one's comfort and dreams about the future. These are all the same, making people wonder if they will have enough, if God is really taking care of them. It is a strange fact of human nature that the super wealthy are more anxious than anyone else about money, perhaps because they know many stories about those who seem to have it all and lost it forever. 

Various crises also take away the feeling of security. However, as reasonable or common sense it may seem to be, God's Promises are that He will take care of our material needs first. If we love mammon and think mammon will make us happy, then we really hate God and resent anything we do that is connected with His Name.  

Luther's father owned mines, so I think Martin was quite aware of the nature of treasure. Someone can mine copper, for example, and find gold or silver with it. What is relatively rare is valued and carefully handled. An ounce of gold is worth more than I can put in my wallet with $100 bills.

So the irony of this era is that we have mammon, compared to the past. Clothes and food are inexpensive. Living conditions here are better than anywhere else in the world, yet people do not thank God for these blessings. The ingratitude is greater than ever before.

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

My birdfeeders are not getting any business from the birds, and I wondered why. Then I realized the abundance of berries I had for them to enjoy - Poke and Beautyberries. Over 60 kinds of birds eat Pokeberries and plant more for themselves in the future. The bug population is exploding, which we can hear in the crickets singing and see in the beetles crawling under leaf litter. The Beautyberries will be available late into the fall, and Crepe Myrtles have formed delicious seeds for all the Cardinals. 

Birds sing happily every morning, without any food in their cupboards. They have to find it new each day, in all kinds of weather. If they are thankful and happy, why are we sad? We have far more value than birds to our Heavenly Father.

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 

Rose Evangelism
Flowers make people happy. When I bring flowers to a doctor's office or to class, everyone lights up. They want to take home a rose. I never wonder about which roses match in the vase, because all the colors go well together, and they emit a strong or sweet fragrance. One class said, "Bring them every time."

Jesus points the flowers without souls that beautify the earth. This comparison from the lesser to the greater was common in Jewish teaching. If God does this for the flowers that come and go, when what will He do for us?

The incentive to faith is this comparison. These are God's Promises. And we should not wonder that our hearts and spirits fail at times. The disciples heard Jesus teach for three years and saw His miracles, and yet they were stricken with fear and faithlessness for those horrible days of the arrest and crucifixion of their Master. Yet He did not lose one of the faithful, as the Word predicted. He remained faithful and also merciful. Nevertheless, Jesus rebukes us for our lack of faith. 

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 

Here is the great moment of this text. The righteous of the Kingdom of God is faith in Christ. Faith in the Good Shepherd, who rescues the lost and cares for His sheep, defeats our twin weaknesses related to our material needs.


Lutherr's Sermon - An Incentive to Faith. Matthew 6:24-34.
Trinity 15, Second Sermon

All drawings on this page are by Norma Boeckler.



FIFTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY. SECOND SERMON.



KJV Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles
seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the
evil thereof.


1. In this Gospel we see how God distinguishes Christians from heathen. For the Lord does not deliver these teachings to the heathen, for they could not receive them, but to his Christians. However, he does not consider those Christians, who only hear his Word, so as to learn it and be able to repeat it, as the nuns do the Psalter. In this way satan also hears the Gospel and the Word of God, yea, he knows it far better than we do, and he could preach it as well as we, if he only wanted to; but the Gospel is a doctrine that should become a living power and be put into practice; it should strengthen and comfort the people, and make them courageous and aggressive.

2. Therefore they, who only thus hear the Gospel, so that they may know it and be able to speak about the wisdom of God, are not worthy to be classed among Christians; but they, who do as the Gospel teaches, are true Christians. However, very few of these are found; we see many hearers, but all are not doers of the Gospel. We wish now to examine more closely what kind of doctrine the Lord teaches in this Gospel. First, he begins with a plain, natural example, so that we all must confess it is true; experience also teaches the same to everybody. He says: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other: or else he will hold to one, and despise the other.”

3. Now he, who tries to serve two masters, will do it in a way that cannot be called serving at all; for it will certainly be as the Lord here says. One can indeed compel a servant to do a certain work against his will and he may grieve while doing it; but no one can compel him to do it cheerfully, and mean it from the bottom of his heart. He of course does the work as long as his master is present, but when he is absent, he hurries away from his task, and does nothing well. Hence the Lord desires our service to be done out of love and cheerfully, and where it is not done thus, it is no service to him: for even people are not pleased when one does anything for them unwillingly. This is natural, and we experience daily that it is so. Now, if it be the case among human beings that no one can serve two masters, how much more is it true in the service of God, that our service cannot be divided; but it must be done unto God alone, willingly and from the heart; therefore the Lord adds: “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” 

4. God cannot allow us to have another Lord besides himself. He is a jealous God, as he says, and cannot suffer us to serve him and his enemy. Only mine, he says, or not at all. Behold now how beautifully Christ here introduces the example: “No man,” he says, “can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” As if to say: as it is here in man’s relations to his fellows, so it is also before God.

5. We find very few, who do not sin against the Gospel. The Lord passes a severe judgment and it is terrible to hear that he should say this of us, and yet no one will confess, yea, no one will suffer it to be said that we hate and despise God and that we are his enemies. There is no one, when asked if he loves God and cleaves to him? would not reply, yes, I love God. But see how the text closes, that we all hate and despise God, and love mammon and cleave to it. But God suffers us to do this until his time; he watches the time and some day he will strike into our midst with all violence, before we can turn around. It is impossible for one, who loves gold and earthly possessions and cleaves to them, not to hate God. For God here contrasts these two as enemies to one another, and concludes, if you love and cleave to one of these two, then you must hate and despise the other. Therefore, however nicely and genteelly one lives here upon earth and cleaves to riches, it cannot be otherwise than that he must hate God; and on the other hand, whoever does not cleave to gold and worldly goods, loves God. This is certainly true.

6. But who are they that love God, and cleave not to gold and worldly possessions? Take a good look at the whole world, also the Christians, and see if they despise gold and riches. It requires an effort to hear the Gospel and to live according to it. God be praised, we have the Gospel; that no one can deny, but what do we do with it? We are concerned only about learning and knowing it, and nothing more; we think it is enough to know it, and do not care whether we ever live according to it. However, on the other hand, one is very anxious when he leaves lying in the window or in the room a dollar or two, yea, even a dime, then he worries and fears lest the money be stolen; but the same person can do without the Gospel through a whole year. And such characters still wish to be considered as Evangelical.

7. Here we see what and who we are. If we were Christians, we would despise riches and be concerned about the Gospel that we some day might live in it and prove it by our deeds. We see few such Christians; therefore we must hear the judgment that We are despisers of God and hate God for the sake of riches and worldly possessions. Alas I That is fine praise We should be ashamed of ourselves in our inmost souls; there is no hope for us! What a fine condition we are in now! That means, I think, our names are blotted out. What spoiled children we are!

8. Now the world cannot conceal its unbelief in its coarse, outward sins, for I see it loves a dollar more than Christ; more than all the Apostles, even if they themselves were present and preached to it. I can hear the Gospel daily, but it does not profit me every day; it may indeed happen, if I have heard it a whole year, the Holy Spirit may have been given to me only one hour. Now when I enjoyed this hour I obtained not only five hundred dollars, but also the riches of the whole world; for what have I not, when I have the Gospel? I received God, who made the silver and the gold, and all that is upon the earth; for I acquired the Spirit by which I know that I will be kept by him forever; that is much more than if I had the church full of money. Examine now and see, if our heart is not a rogue, full of wickedness and unbelief. If I were a true Christian, I would say. The hour the Gospel is received, there comes to me a hundred thousand dollars, and much more. For if I possess this treasure, I have all that is in heaven and upon earth. But one must serve this treasure only, for no man can serve God and mammon. Either you must love God and hate money; or you must hate God and love money; this and nothing more.

9. The master uses here the Hebrew, which we do not. “Mammon” means goods or riches, and such goods as one does not need, but holds as a treasure, and it is gold and possessions that one deposits as stock and storage provisions. This Christians do not do, they gather no treasures; but they ask God for their daily bread. However, others are not satisfied with this, they gather a great store upon which they may depend, in case our God should die to-day or tomorrow, they might then know a way out. Therefore St. Paul says, in Ephesians 5: 5 and Colossians 3:5, riches and covetousness are the god of this world and are idolatry, with this Christ here agrees and calls it serving mammon.

10. Now, how does it come that the Gospel and St. Paul call especially covetousness and not other sins idolatry; since uncleanness, fornication, lust, base desires, unchastity and other vices are more opposed to God? It is done to our great shame, because gold is our god, that we serve, in that we trust and rely upon it, and it can neither sustain nor save us, yea, it can neither stand nor walk, it neither hears nor sees, it has no strength nor power, with it there is neither comfort nor help. For if one had the riches of the whole world, he would not be secure for one moment before death.

11. Of what help are his great treasures and riches to the Emperor when the hour of death arrives and he is called to die? They are a shameful, loathsome, powerless god, that cannot cure a sore, yea, it cannot keep and take care of itself, there it lies in the chest, and lets it’s devotees wait, yea, one must watch it as a helpless, powerless, weak thing. The lord who has this god must watch day and night lest thieves steal it; this helpless god can aid no one. You should have contempt for this lifeless god that cannot help in the least, and is yet so scrupulous and precious; it lets its devotees wait in the grandest style and protects itself with strong chests and castles, its lord must wait and be in anxiety every hour, lest it perishes by fire or otherwise experiences some misfortune. Does this treasure or god consist m clothing, then one must be careful and on his guard against the smallest little insects, against the moth, lest they ruin or devour it.

12. The walls of our rooms should spit upon us in contempt that we trust more in the god the moth eat and the rust corrupt, than in the God, who creates and gives all things, yea, who holds in his hand heaven and earth, and all that in them is. Is it not a foolish thing on the part of the world to turn from the true God and trust in base and low mammon, in the poor, miserable god, who cannot protect himself against rust. Oh, what a disgraceful thing this is on the part of the world! God visits gold and worldly possessions with many kinds of enemies, to bring us to see and confess our unbelief and godless character, that we thus trust in a powerless and frail god, we who could at once so easily approach and cleave to the true, powerful and strong God, who gives us everything, money, goods, fruit and all we need; yet we are so foolish and make gods out of his gifts. Shame on thee, thou cursed unbelief.

13. Other sins give us a little pleasure, we receive some enjoyment from them, as in the case of eating and drinking; in unchastity one has pleasure for a little while; likewise anger satisfies its desire, and other vices more so. Only in this vice one must incessantly be in slavery, hounded and martyred, and in it no one has any pleasure or joy whatever. There the money lies on a pile and commands you to serve it; in spite of it letting any one draw from it a thimble full of wine there comes rust and devours it, and yet he  dares not attack it, lest he angers his god. And when his servants have protected their god a long time they have no more than any poor beggar. I have nothing, yet I eat and drink as heartily as any one who has a large supply of mammon. When he dies he takes just as much along with him as I do. And it is certainly the case that these people never live as well nor as richly as the poor people often do. Who arranges this thus? God, the Lord, does it. Here some have a certain affliction of the body that they have no appetite; there others are internally unsound and never relish what they eat; here their stomach is out of order; there their lungs and liver are diseased; here is this, and there is that sickness; here they are weak and afflicted at one point, there at another, and they never have an enjoyable hour to relish what they eat or drink.

14. Thus it is with those who serve this god, mammon. The true God is still of some use, he serves the people, but mammon does not, it lies quiet and lets others serve it. And for this reason the New Testament calls covetousness idolatry, since it thus desires to be served. However, to love and not to enjoy may well vex the devil. This all now experience who love the god, mammon, and serve him. Whoever has now no sense of shame and does not turn red, has a brazen face.

15. Thus now it is with the word, “serve.” For it is not forbidden to have money and possessions, as we cannot get along without them. Abraham, Lot, David, Solomon and others had great possessions and much gold, and at the present day there are many wealthy persons who are pious, in spite of their riches. But it is one thing to have possessions and another to serve them; to have mammon, and to make a god out of it. Job also was wealthy, he had great possessions and was more powerful than all who lived in the East, as we read in the first part of the book of Job: yet he says, in Job 31:24-25: “If I have made gold my hope, and said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; have I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because my hand had gotten much?”

16. The sum of all is, it is God’s will that we serve not gold and riches, and that we be not overanxious for our life; but that we labor and commend our anxiety to him. Whoever possesses riches is lord of the riches. Whoever serves them, is their slave and does not possess them, but they possess him; for he dare not make use of them when he desires, and cannot serve others with them; yea, he is not bold enough to dare to touch it. However, is he lord over his riches, then they serve him, and he does not serve them; then he teaches in 1 Corinthians 7:32. Hence he aids the poor with his wealth and gives to those who have nothing. When he sees a person without a coat, he says to his money: Go out, Messrs. Dollars, there is a poor, naked man, who has no coat, you must be of service to him! There lies one sick, who has no medicine. Go forth, Squires Anneberger and Joachinesthaler, you must hasten and help him! Those, who act thus with their riches, are their lords; and all true Christians surely do this. But those who save piles of money, and ever scheme to make their heap larger instead of smaller, are servants and slaves of mammon.

17. He is a lord of mammon who lays hold of and uses it for the sake of those who need it and lets God rule, who says in Luke 6:38. Give, and it shall be given unto you; have you nothing more, you surely have me still, and I have still enough, yea, I have more than I have given away and more than can ever be given away. We see here and there many pious poor people only for the purpose that the wealthy may help and serve them with their riches. If you do it not, you have the sure proof that you hate God. He, whom the sentence does not terrify, that he will hear on the day of judgment, can be moved by nothing. For he will hear then from God: Behold, thou hast hated me and loved that which could not protect itself against rust and moth. Ay, how firmly you will then stand!

18. Hence the sense is, we must own some possessions, but are not to cleave to them with our hearts; as Psalm 62:10 says: “If riches increase, set not your heart thereon.” We are to labor; but we are not to be anxious about our existence. This the Master says here in our Gospel in plain and clear words, when he thus concludes: “Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink: nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.”

19. And he now uses a reasonable and natural form of speech, by which to close, that they are not to be anxious for the nourishment of their lives; for reason must conclude and yield that it is as Christ says, when he gives the ground and reason of his discourse by asking: “Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment!”

20. As if he would say: You turn it just around, the food should serve your life and not your life the food. The same is true in respect to raiment; the clothing should serve the body, thus the body serves the clothing. The world is so blind that it cannot see this. 

21. Now we must here have a high esteem for the words of the Lord. He says, “Be not anxious;” he does not say, Labor not. Anxiety is forbidden, but not labor; yea, it is commanded and made obligatory upon us to labor until the sweat rolls down our faces. It is not God’s pleasure for man to tramp around idly; therefore he says to Adam in Genesis 3:19: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken.” And as Psalm 104:22-23 says: “The sun ariseth. man goeth forth unto his work and to his labor until the evening.” We are not to be anxious, this is forbidden; for we have a rich God who promises us food and clothing; for he knows what we lack, before we are concerned and begin to pray.

22. Why then does he not give us what we need without our labor? Because it is thus pleasing to him; he tells us to labor and then he gives it; not because of our work, but out of kindness and grace. This we see before our eyes; for although we labor every year in the field, yet God gives one year more than another. Therefore, we are fools, yea, we act contrary to God’s will, when we are worried as to how to scrape together gold and riches, since God gratuitously and richly promises that he will give us all and will abundantly provide for our every want.

23. However, one may say: Does not St. Paul tell us to be diligent, as in Romans 12:8: “He that ruleth, with diligence,” and there immediately follows verse 11, “In diligence, not slothful?” In like manner to the Philippians 2:20, he says of Timothy: “For I have no man likeminded, who will care truly for your state.” And Paul himself in 2 Corinthians 11:28 boasts that anxiety for all the churches presses upon him. Here you see how’ we are nevertheless to be anxious. Answer: Our life and a Christian character consist of two parts, of faith and of love. The first points us to God, the other to our neighbor. The first, namely faith, is not visible, God alone sees that; the other is visible, and is love, that we are to manifest to our neighbor. Now the anxiety that springs from love is commanded, but that which accompanies faith is forbidden. If I believe that I have a God, then I cannot be anxious about my welfare; for if I know that God cares for me as a father for his child, why should I fear? Why need I to be anxious, I simply say: Art thou my Father, then I know that no evil will befall me, as Psalm 16:8 says: “I have set Jehovah always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” Thus he has all things in his hand; therefore I shall want nothing, he will care for me. If I rush ahead and try to care for myself, that is always contrary to faith; therefore God forbids this kind of anxiety. But it is his pleasure to maintain the anxious care of love, that we may help others, and share our possessions and gifts with them. Am I a ruler, I am to care for my subjects; am I a housefather, I must take care of the members of my family, and so forth, according as each one has received his gifts from God. God cares for all, and his is the care that pertains to faith. We are also to be interested in one another and this is the care of love, namely, when something is given to me, that I be diligent so that others may also receive it.

24. Here we must be guarded, lest we make a gloss, instead of understanding simply the words as they read: Be not anxious for your life. God says: Labor, and if you accomplish nothing, I will give what is needed; does he give then see that you rightly distribute it. Do not be anxious to get, but see to it that your domestics and others also receive of that which God has given to you, and that your domestics labor and receive a Christian training.

25. Am I a preacher, my anxiety should not be where to receive what I am to preach; for if I have nothing I can give nothing. Christ says in Luke 21:15: “I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to withstand or to gainsay.” But if I have that I ought to be anxious for others to receive it from me, and that I endeavor to impart it to them in the best form possible, to teach the ignorant, to admonish and restrain those who know it, rightly to comfort the oppressed consciences, to awaken the negligent and sleepy, and put them on their guard, and the like, as St. Paul did (1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1, Titus 3:1) and commanded his disciples Timothy and Titus to do. My anxiety should be how others are to receive something from me; but I am to study and pray to God. Studying is my labor, this is the work he desires me to do, and when it is his pleasure he will give. It can indeed happen that I may study a long time and he gives nothing, a year or more, and when it is his pleasure, he gives as long as it is pleasing to him. Then he gives copiously and to overflowing, suddenly in an hour.

26. Thus a housefather also does, he attends only to that which is commanded him, and lets our Lord God arrange as to how he will give. When he gives, then man is concerned how to impart it to his family, and he sees that they have no need as to the body and the soul. This is what the Lord means, when he says we are not to be anxious for our food and raiment; but he certainly requires us to labor. For thou must be a long time  behind the oven until something is given to thee if thou dost not till the soil and work. True it is, God can easily nourish thee without thy work, he could easily have roasted and boiled corn and wine grow on thy table; but he does not do it, it is his will that thou shouldst labor and in doing so to use thy reason.

27. In like manner it is with preaching and all our affairs. God gives us the wool, that he grows on the sheep; but it is not at once cloth, we must labor and make it into cloth; when it is cloth, it does not at once become a coat, the tailor must first work with the cloth before it is a coat; and so God does with all things, he cares for us, but we must toil and work. We have plenty examples of this before our eyes, and God relates especially two here that should really make us blush with shame, namely, those of the birds and the lilies in the field. Pointing to the birds he says: “Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them.”

28. As if the Lord would say: You have never yet seen a bird with a sickle, with which it harvested and gathered into barns; yea, the birds do not labor like we; and still they are nourished. By this the Lord does not however teach that we are to be idle; but he tries by this example to take all anxiety from us. For a bird cannot do the work of a farmer as we do; yet, it is not free from labor, but it does the work for which it was created, namely, it bears its young, feeds them and sings to our Lord God a little song for the privilege of doing this. Had God imposed more labor upon it, then it would have done more. Early in the morning it rises, sits upon a twig and sings a song it has learned, while it knows not where to obtain its food, and yet it is not worried as to where to get its breakfast. Later, when it is hungry, it flies away and seeks a grain of corn, where God stored one away for it, of which it never thought while singing, when it had cause enough to be anxious about its food. Ay, shame on you now, that the little birds are more pious and believing than you; they are happy and sing with joy and know not whether they have anything to eat.

29. This parable is constantly taught to our great and burning shame, that we cannot do as much as the birds. A Christian should be ashamed before a little bird that knows an art it never acquired from a teacher. When in the spring of the year, while the birds sing the most beautifully, you say to one: How canst thou sing so joyfully, thou hast not yet any grain in thy barn! It would thus mock you. It is a powerful example and should truly give 95 offense to us and stir us to trust God more than we do. Therefore he concludes with a penetrating passage, and asks: “Are not ye of much more value than they?”

30. Is it not a great shame that the Lord makes and presents to us the birds as our teachers, that we should first learn from them? Shame on thee, thou loathsome, infamous unbelief! The birds do what they are required to do; but we not. In Genesis 1:28 we have a command that we are to be lords over all God’s creatures; and the birds are here our lords in teaching us wisdom. Away with godless unbelief! God makes us to be fools and places the birds before us, to be our teachers and rule us, in that they only point out how we serve mammon and forsake the true and faithful God. Now follows the other example of the flowers in the field, by which the Lord encourages us not to worry about our raiment; and it reads thus: “And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto the measure of his life? And why are ye anxious concerning raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”

31. As if to say, your life is not yours, nor is your body, you cannot make it one cubit longer or shorter; neither be anxious as to how you are to clothe yourself. Behold the flowers of the field how they are adorned and clothed, neither do they anything to that end; they neither spin nor work, yet they are beautifully clothed.

32. By this illustration the Lord again does not wish to have us cease to sew and work, but we should labor, spin and sew, and not be overanxious and worry. The evil we have is our toil; will we in addition worry, then we do like the fools; for it is enough that each day has its own evil. It seems to me, this is disdain that is commanded, that the flowers stand there and make us blush and become our teachers. Thank you, flowers, you, who are to be devoured by the cows! God has exalted you very highly, that you become our masters and teachers. Shame, that this earth bears us! Is it an honor for us? I do not know. We must here confess that the most insignificant flower, that the cattle tread under foot, should become our teacher, are we not fine people? I think so. Now Christ places alongside of  this the richest and most powerful king, Solomon, who was clothed in the most costly manner in purple and gold, whose glory was not to be compared with that of the flowers, 1 Kings 10:1. Is it not remarkable that the adornment of the flowers in the field should be esteemed higher than all the precious stones, gold and silver?

33. However, we are so blind that we do not see what God designs thereby and what he means. The flower stands there that we should see it, it strikes us and says: If thou hadst the adornment of the whole world even then thou wouldst not be equal to me, who stand here, and am not the least worried whence this adornment comes to me. I do not however concern myself about that, here I stand alone and do nothing and although thou art beautifully adorned, thou art still sickly and servest impotent mammon; I however am fresh and beautiful and serve the true and righteous God. Behold, what a loathsome, vicious thing is unbelief!

34. These are two fine and powerful examples of the birds and the lilies. The birds teach us a lesson as to our daily food; the flowers as to our raiment. And in the whole New Testament our shame is no where so disclosed and held to view, as just in this Gospel. But they are few who understand it. From these examples and parables the Lord now concludes and says: “Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first his kingdom and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Be not therefore anxious for the morrow; for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

35. Now the sum of this Gospel is: Christians should not worry about what they are to eat; God provides for them before they think of their need; but they are to labor, that is commanded them. But what the kingdom of God and his righteousness are, would require too much time to discuss, you have often heard about them, if you have been attentive. This is now enough on to-day’s Gospel. May God grant us grace that some day we may also even put it into practice! May the Gospel remain not only in our ears and on our tongues, but come into our hearts and break forth fresh into loving deeds!