Sunday, August 4, 2019 – Pentecost 8

August 4, 2019  

Pentecost 8 2019

Luke 12:13-21

Our Savior’s La Crosse


God needs us.

Last week I began my sermon saying “We need God.”

This week I want to flip the coin: God needs us.

Our need for God is corporate and it is personal.

God’s need for us is the same.

God needs each of us to commit ourselves to being God’s disciples, God’s workers here on earth.

And God needs us, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, to serve God as a community even as we witness to God in our community.

When we looked at the Lord’s Prayer last week, I pointed out that, as a community we ask for three things in the prayer:

That God give us each day our daily bread (Luke 11:3).

That God forgive us our sins (Luke 11:4)

That God not bring us to the time of trial (Luke 11:4) aka lead us not into             temptation.

Looking at our gospel reading this week, it is clear that, even as we ask God for food, for forgiveness, for deliverance from evil, God asks us to be God’s servants in those things for which we ask.

For example:

Give us each day our daily bread.

This prayer petition voices a global need: in order to live we need to eat. Not just we humans, all species need to eat. So, what are we asking for when we pray “give us each day our daily bread”?

Literally, we are asking for enough for this day. Give us each day

Today’s gospel reading makes this clear when Jesus tells the story of the rich man. The man was a farmer whose farm produced food in abundance. The man’s farm produced so much food the man had no place to store it all. So, what did the man do? The man decided to build bigger barns so he could keep all of the grain for himself. He wanted, maybe needed to have enough grain to feel secure enough to be able to sit back and say to his soul “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry” (Luke 12:19). According to Jesus, in his story God spoke to the rich man and said to him “‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God” (Luke 12:20-21).

The rich man had no thought of his neighbors or of their needs. The rich man was only thinking of himself. He had no thought of sharing with others that which he had in abundance.

The moral of the story for us is this: We cannot just ask God for our daily bread, we need to work with God so that all people have daily bread. This means that, for those who have in abundance, our obligation is to give from our abundance to others, because we have been given much. For those not living in abundance, when our needs are met, we can work with those who have much to give, ensuring there are laborers in abundance who can provide for those who needs have not yet been met.

Another example from the Lord’s Prayer:

Forgive us our sins.

As baptized children of God, God’s grace overflows in our lives. Waters of baptism have cleansed and redeemed us. Each and every day we are promised we can rise to the day confident in the knowledge God has forgiven us. There can be no doubt. Our sins are forgiven.

Knowing God has forgiven us our sins, knowing that we have been washed by the waters of baptism, we are called as God’s children to love others as God loves us. Our call to love obligates us to forgive those who have sinned against us. Forgiveness does not imply we are to forget the hurts they may have inflicted. Forgiveness does not mean we cannot protect ourselves from ever being sinned against again. Forgiveness calls us to right relationship with those who have sinned against us. Forgiveness calls us to know that every person is a beloved child of God, forgiven their sins just as we have been forgiven ours. The forgiveness of our sins calls us to forgive those who have sinned against us.

Our final example:

Lead us not into temptation.

Temptation toward evil is prevalent, it is prominent, and it is powerful. The whole reason we need forgiveness in abundance is because of the power of evil, it is because of the power of all that is evil that tempts us. We must not fool ourselves. Everything that turns us away from God, everything that is sin, is there tempting us. And we so often give into temptation.

Our call as children of God who choose to follow Jesus is to reject sin, and to join hands with others who are equally as tempted by evil, that they too reject the sins that turn them from God.

This morning we hear, as we receive God’s word, a call to give even as we are given. To give food. To offer forgiveness. To protect others from evil.

Our call is to offer to others that which we ourselves receive from God.