Luke 12:22-40 – Do not worry
Story: Church at the turn of the century
At the turn of the 20th Century, the roof of the hall of a little Swiss church was falling down.
So the members of the church got together regularly after the service in the hall to pray for funds to repair the roof .
One of the people who used to come along to the prayer meeting was an old man, who was known to be very tight fisted. He used to sit near the back of the hall so he could sneak out just before the collection plate came round.
One Sunday, he was held up on his way to the prayer meeting in the hall by the vicar and could only find a seat at the front.
During the prayer meeting, a piece of the roof fell and hit him on the head. Feeling spoke to by the Lord, he stood up and said "Lord, I’ll give £1000"
A voice at the back of the churchwas heard to say " Hit him again, Lord"!
I often wonder if that’s what God has to do to get my attention? The worry about money can be very powerful
I’d like to focus this morning on Jesus’ words in Luke 12:22 and 28:
Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on
…if God so clothes the grass which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith
Story: When I worry Maddy has a nice little saying: “Why pray when you can worry!!”
This morning’s reading carries on from the Parable of the Rich Fool, where Jesus has been looking at our ambition – what makes us tick?
The Rich Fool was castigated for his greed – an unacceptable attitude to God. You could say that he was worried about the future and so he hoarded against a rainy day.
It is strange but those with most money often find it very hard to be generous.
Story: Paul Getty, the famous oil baron, was so worried about his money, so much so that he installed pay phones in his house at Sutton Place just outside Guildford, Surrey, so that his guests would not waste his money on phone calls.
In Luke 12, Jesus then moves on from the greed of the Rich Fool to talk about worry because both are linked.
The love of money brings with it worry. It is not the only thing that causes us worry - ill health for example is an other reason we worry.
But whatever the reason we worry - there is a root problem. That problem I believe rests in a lack of trust of God. I think we should apply three challenges when we are tempted to worry.
1. The first challenge is on what is our faith based?
2. The second challenge is what are our ambitions?
3. The third challenge is why should we be robbed of our joy?
1. The first challenge on what is our faith based?
Story: George Müller (1805-1898) was the founder of the famous Orphans Children’s homes in Bristol in the early 19th Century and a man of simple faith. God had called him to his work and God would provide. Let me read you a story about Müller.
Müller experienced God’s provision many times. Here is one story told about him. Let me read it to you:
“THE ORPHAN CHILDREN all had their dinners and were ready for bed. They always felt loved and cared for in the Bristol orphanage; little did they know that the orphanage had no money and there was no food for breakfast the next day.