Summary: "It's a scary world out there." True. So how do you deal with it? Worry? Or God's Word?
SEEK GOD FIRST (Matthew 6:31-33)
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Last month I was at Walmart with my family - my wife needed to do some shopping, and my job was to keep our little kids occupied so that she could concentrate on what she was doing. The kids and I headed straight to the toy section, and while we were looking at Barbies and Nerf guns, one of the workers at Walmart came around the corner and saw my children. He was a nice man, a little older, and he said, "Those are some nice kids you have. I'm an empty nester - my kids are all grown up. I wouldn't want to be raising kids in this world today - this world is a scary place," he said. "Keep your kids in school. This world is scary, and so keep your kids in school." I thanked him for his advice and we moved on to the next aisle.
But there was something he said, that I wasn't sure about. Is this world a scary place? Yes. The sins of violence and greed and immorality dominate our world and make it "scary." "I wouldn't want to be raising kids in this world today?" I've heard people say that before, and it doesn't surprise me. But what I wasn't sure about was when he said, "Keep your kids in school, because this world is a scary place." Now what does that mean? I agree that staying in school is good. Dropping out of grade school or high school is a really bad idea. But I don't think he meant that. "Keep your kids in school, because the world is scary."
Will school prepare my kids for all the violence and greed and immorality they will someday face? Math and science and reading and social studies - will that help my kids when they have to process the sudden death of a loved one, or cancer in their own bodies? Stay in school because of that?
And so as I was standing in the middle of Walmart, I was thinking to myself that I didn't agree with what that man said. I know he was just trying to be friendly, and didn't intend for me to think so deeply about what he said. But there is a way to fix what he said. Instead of "Keep your kids in school, because it's a scary world," I would say, "Keep your kids in God's Word, because it's a scary world." If you're a parent, what do you want for your child someday? Don't you want your child to grow up and have a sense of security and self-esteem? Don't you want your child to know that he or she is loved, and to be able to love someone else? Don't you want your child to be content and happy? But how will that happen, in this scary world? I don't think the secret is to keep your kids in school. The key is to: "Keep your kids in God's Word."
This morning we're going to look at a section of the Bible where Jesus speaks to people who live in a scary world, and they are worried. We're going to apply this passage to Christian education and highlight the ministry at Lakeside Lutheran High School.