Pentecost 10 Sermon: How Much More!
The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost — Proper 12C
24 July AD 2016
Title: How Much More! (MP3 Audio)
Summary: Jesus is twice recorded teaching His Church to say, “Our Father.” Matthew 6:9-13 contains the text with which we are most familiar. The instance reported by Luke speaks not of the Father’s will nor of our delivery from evil, yet Jesus brought up both of these as He expounded on the text.
Note that it wasn’t the Romans, the Samaritans, the Pharisees, or the Sadducees whom Jesus called “evil” but rather the disciples who asked Him to teach them to pray. Peter, James, John, and the rest of the bunch are the ones who “give good gifts” to their children, even though they are “evil.” Jesus then taught that the Father — the embodiment of goodness — gives so much more.
The paltry good that we poor sinners can do for those whom we love pales before God’s love for those who hate Him and who rebel against His Word and His will. Our Father willed that His sinless Son die for the world’s sins so that we who are evil might own every good gift of body, mind, and spirit.
Jesus makes it clear that God’s will is to give us sinners the Holy Spirit. Through the Spirit, God creates and sustains faith in Christ’s forgiveness. Likewise, the Spirit intercedes for us when we know not what or how to pray (see Romans 8:26-27).
“How much more” good is this gift from God? So much that we cannot fathom its enormity! We who are conceived and born sinful receive full and free forgiveness of all our sins. For Christ’s sake, we who are inclined toward evil are received by a good and loving God who calls us His children. Our heavenly Father gives us our daily bread throughout our time on earth and desires that we join all the faithful in the eternal feast of the Lamb in His kingdom.
This sermon was preached for the 140th Anniversary of Zion Lutheran Church of Pittsburg, Kansas. I am a son of the congregation, living there through most of the 1960s while Dad was Zion’s pastor.
Text: Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
And he said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.
“And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
“What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:1-13
Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of How Much More!
Illustrations: Line drawing from Art of the Church Year by Ed Riojas, available through Higher Things Store.
NB: A few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio with Windows Media Player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.
Other Readings: Psalm 138; Genesis 18:(17-19) 20-33; Colossians 2:6-15 (16-19)