Click here, Luke 12:32-40, for an easy to print or email Adobe PDF version of this note.
Sermon by the Rev. Dr. George Hermanson, "to be added."
Every time I first look at this lesson, I do a double take to make sure I haven't mis-read the starting Verse number - shouldn't that be "22" and not "32?" Have the Lectionary planners really omitted Luke's telling of the birds of the air and the flowers of the field? Why yes, yes they actually have. No worries I guess. But personally I'm inclined to correct this oversight and change the reading back to Luke 12:22-34.
As it is, the Lectionary gives us about 6 different possible sermons in 9 verses. Oh well, no worries, right?
Verse 32. We could probably just stop and spend 20 silent minutes - or 20 years - letting this verse sink into the depths of the heart of our being. Everything else follows from this one verse:
it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Wow. God, for no other reason than it simply pleases God - delights God - for this reason alone - God gives us the kingdom. No worries. So get over all your anxiety, guilt, shame, unworthiness, wretchedness, etc., etc. You don't deserve it, but God is giving it to you anyway - not because of who you are or what you've done - but just because it tickles God no end to give it to you.
Verses 33 to 34. Now I suppose we could take that good news and start living recklessly - sinning even more boldly - eating, drinking, and being merry to the max. After all, God's gonna give us the kingdom.
But Jesus has another present in mind. What if we too started giving things away just for the great good pleasure of it?
We live in a world that wants us to treasure acquiring more and more stuff. Jesus wants us to find the fun in giving stuff away.
Verses 35 to 40. And just in case you're wanting to take a minute, or a decade, or the rest of your life, to mull this over, Jesus then tells a parable to remind us that right now, right this minute, is the time to act:
You must also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.
And when you stop and think about it, what exactly is holding us back? Why not let go? Right now. Just for the fun of it. No worries.
Note: Historical background information is primarily from Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels (see link below), pages 278-279.
* Link to Amazon.com Bibliography for Bruce Malina, Richard Rohrbaugh, et. al., Social Science Commentary on ... The Synoptic Gospels; The Gospel of John; The Book of Acts; The Letters of Paul; The Book of Revelation; and others.
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Otherwise, please acknowledge source as, "David Ewart, www.holytextures.com."