Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sermon for 11/24/13 Whatever Is Good - Philippians 4

Remember when you wanted . . .?
Remember when you wanted to give someone a gift?
This is a time for giving thanks, for receiving thanks, and for many, in the next month or so, for giving and receiving some presents as well.

From the introit - These all look to you,
to give them their food in due season.
When you give it to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.

How do we receive the gifts that our Lord has given us?
 gather it up?
 see the gifts as good?
 sometimes wonder what they are for?
   know someone who once thought she was given a light bulb as a present
   Why would you give me batteries? What do I want those for?
 some of what we receive, from this world, even ultimately from God, doesn’t look good
What does the Lord do through the good times and bad?
 Romans 8:29 - make us more like Jesus

Where’s the good?
 sometimes in the gift
 sometimes in Christ’s deliverance of us from the troubles we find
 sometimes in our relationships
 sometimes in Jesus’ redemption of our relationships

But our reaction?
 we are in bad situations and we say God must not be good
 we are in good situations and we say we deserved it
 we reject what the Lord has given us
 we receive what the Lord has given us and try to keep it to ourselves
 we turn the good gifts of God into something to be used for our selfish gain

Like the people of Israel in the wilderness we doubt, we fear, we backbite, we grumble.

This should not be. Learn from all nature - receives from God.
 He brings good gifts
 He rescues us from all evil
 He fills us with all we need - especially the greatest gifts given in Word and Sacrament

Give thanks to the Lord. He alone can rescue us from all sin and evil. He alone has sustained us through countless troubles. He alone will continue to be our rock, our fortress, our deliverer. None but Jesus could take away our sin. None but Jesus will ever present us faultless before the throne of God. Trusting in ourselves is no good. Trusting in Jesus brings life and salvation.

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