Compline, Luke 12:22–31

Life in God’s Care

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Tonight we have been talking about God’s Creation. That includes not only music, but everything we use and enjoy in the everyday life: food, clothing, a home, and so on. Music is something we usually do not have to worry about. But these other things, do they not sometimes make you worry? ”Is there enough money to buy groceries? Am I able to pay the rent this month?” If you have experienced this, listen to what Jesus has to say to you. In the Gospel, our Lord talks about two groups of people. Both of these people obviously live in the same world. They both have similar needs as far as daily life is concerned. And yet these two groups of people live in completely different situations.

First, Jesus talks about the nations of the world, i.e. the gentiles, the pagans. He says they are people who seek. Like everyone else, they, too, need to eat and drink, they need to wear clothes. But they imagine they must provide for their needs themselves. And thus they seek what they are to eat and drink, what they are or wear. They are in constant pursuit of what they think they need in this life. They are worried, anxious about their livelihood.

Secondly, Jesus talks about people who have a Father. That means these people have the almighty God as their loving Father. This is also why their situation is completely different. Here Jesus is not talking about what they are doing or how they are ”seeking”. He is rather talking about what the Father does. The Father knows, He says. He knows what His children need. Of course God knows the needs of every single human being on this Earth! But here Jesus shows that as His disciple, one has the Lord and Creator as his Father. The Father knows exactly what that person needs, even before he asks Him (Matt. 6:8). And because God is his loving Father, He wants to fulfill his every need.

What is your relationship to Jesus and His Heavenly Father? Are you living in the close Father–child relationship with God, the relationship you were taken into in the Holy Baptism? Or are you living among ”the nations of the world”, among those who have no hope, who have no Father?

The Lord God does not want you to worry. Tonight He is offering to be your loving Father who knows everything you need. In this world, of course, He wants you to work for your living. But He wants you to be in a position where you do not have to seek anymore, as the gentiles do. You are to seek only for one thing. What is it? It is His Kingdom. What is God’s Kingdom? The Lord says: For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 14:17) All of this is something that is given to you as a gift from the Lord. ”Seeking” it means nothing else than finding the place where the Lord Himself promises to give this gift to you. And where is this? It is where ”the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered.” (The Augsburg Confession. Article VII: Of the Church.) There the Lord Himself is present. Right there He offers you His Grace and mercy, forgiveness of sins through the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, eternal life. Right there He provides you with all these eternal possessions, the Kingdom of God! And by these gifts the Lord also keeps you as His beloved child. And because He promises you all of these amazing things, surely He wants to take care of your needs in your life here in this world!

And so you do not have to run around anymore, anxiously trying to solve the problem of your livelihood yourself. All you need is to be a receiver of these gifts. Then you will be a disciple of Jesus, and a beloved son and daughter of His Heavenly Father, the Creator of the World. When you have come to know God as your Father—or rather, when you are known by Him (cf. Gal. 4:9)—all this kind of worry and suspense will disappear. You are given all you need in this life, and more, much more: the life eternal! Therefore, seek only to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Hear it tonight and believe it. You will be living in God’s good care.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

(Hartauspuhe rukoushetkessä päivän päättyessä, Corpus Christi -tapahtumassa Turussa 24.6.2013.)