Sermons

Summary: Jesus encourages us to put our trust in God rather than worry

Worry - Mt. 10:24-39

Story: A business manager went on holiday to an island in Greece.

One day, while he was on the beach, he was called up on his mobile phone by his secretary, wanting some help. He gave her some instructions and told her to call him back when she had finished.

As he was pacing up and down waiting for a return phone call, he came across a fisherman, dozing in the shade of his fishing boat, that had been pulled up on the beach.

As the manager passed, the fisherman woke up and the manager decided to talk to him.

“The weather is great and there’s lots of fish. So how come you are sitting about here - when you could be out there - catching more fish?”

Quietly, the fisherman replied: “Because I caught enough this morning”

“But just imagine” the manager replied “if you went out twice a day, you could bring home twice as much fish. And do you know what could happen?

Puzzled, the fisherman shook his head.

“Well” the manager continued - waxing lyrical to his theme “you could buy yourself a motorboat. And then, after say a couple of years you could buy a second one. Then perhaps after three years you could have a cutter or two.

And just think, one day you might be able to buy a freezing plant. Then you could go on to get your own helicopter to help you trace shoals of fish for your fishing fleet.

You could then buy your own truck to ship the fish to the capital thereby cutting out the middle man”

“And then what” the fisherman replied.

“And then “ the manager concluded triumphantly “ you wouldn’t have to worry. You could then sit down calmly on the beach, dozing in the sun and looking at the beautiful ocean.”

“ Well, my friend" the fisherman replied "what do you think I am doing now!”

We all worry at some time or other, often about money and the future.

Story: Maddy has this wonderful saying, when I start to worry: “Why pray when you can worry!”

Jesus, in our Gospel reading, sent his disciples out to preach the Good News that the Kingdom of God is near (Mt. 10:7).

He recognised that this would result in conflict.

There would be those who would accept their word and there would be those who would not accept their word.

And Jesus realised that when the disciples ran into inevitable opposition, they would be afraid. He realised that they would worry.

And so Jesus said to his disciples : “Do not fear….” (Mt. 10:31), because God is interested in the smallest details of your life and won’t let you down.

In Jesus’ day, there was a real danger of being killed for preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

1st Century Palestine was seething with unrest - under the yoke of Roman rule. And anyone, who threatened the delicate status quo, ran a serious risk of being put to death. And as we all know - Jesus himself was crucified for his radical message.

Christ called his disciples to preach the Gospel with boldness and not to be afraid. And to rely on God for their protection.

And he calls us too - to serve God by preaching the Gospel and therefore to rely on God for our security.

In England, we are most unlikely to face death for being a follower of Christ.

Story: But that hasn’t always been the case. 450 years ago, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, the founder of the Anglican Church was burnt at the stake on 21st March 1556 in Oxford for the sake of the Gospel.

We might not have to fear for our lives, but we can be tempted to be fearful about other things.

1. Failure

Some of us worry that we will fail, and that worry can keep us from taking the necessary risks in order to succeed in the first place.

Story: When I was about 11, I went on a week’s sailing course with the Army and at the end of it, I just failed the sailing proficiency test. My father had come down and the instructors asked me to take it again.

But I worried about failing in front of my father, and so I did not retake the test - even though I could well have passed it.

Fear of failing crippled me from trying again.

2. Our families

Some of us worry about our families – how our children will fare in the future.

Story: When our oldest son Jonny emigrated to Switzerland two years ago, I worried if he’s ever find a job and stick at it.

A year later in a steady job, he told me proudly: “Dad I am earning more than you!!”

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