With words of promise, Jesus speaks faith into the life of His disciples. He gives them the very hope they need to live the kingdom life of faith. Today at International Lutheran Church, we are called to trust in Him who gives us the Kingdom through His death and resurrection. Jesus speaks to us and gives us His own promise. 

This weekend our ILC Men’s Fellowship is hosting a Men’s Retreat to get away and be together in God’s Word. I am looking forward to it as I have not been able to see much of Korea due to all the COVID restrictions during the last two years. Someone in the group asked a brilliant question, “So what do we need to bring?” Indeed, every adventure requires the right preparation. Knowing just what is “the plan” helps us to know what we will need. Today Jesus’ words are so important for you and me as they give us just what we need to live this Kingdom Life of Faith – namely faith in Him!

If we are honest though, our way of “preparing for the great adventure” can sometimes lead to a life of worry and anxiety even about the simplest things like what we will eat or what we will wear. No doubt these daily necessities of food and clothing are important. But they can also absorb our attention and drain the life out of us with the worry they create, especially if we add to this the enormous list of things our daily lives are filled with that cause us to be afraid of everything. Abram’s riches did not offer him any solace. He still needed to know the “big” plan. This is why Jesus’ words for us today are so important as they actually give us just what we need to thrive in this Kingdom Life of Faith – namely faith and trust in Him!

By sharing with His disciples the examples of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, Jesus points to the vanity of our worry and anxiety. Like the stars in the heavens, these beautiful testimonies of God’s creation speak to God’s daily providence and care. And just as Abram was led to put his hope in God’s promise by seeing the beauty of the night sky, God has displayed for all to see His commitment to meeting our needs by sending His own Son. Even as our worry and fear cannot add one day to the span our life, the Father gives us the Kingdom in Jesus’ death on the cross. This is why Jesus’ words for us today are so important as they actually give us just what we need to share this Kingdom Life of Faith – namely faith, trust and hope in Him!

When Jesus speaks to us and says, “Have no fear!” He gives us the faith, trust and hope we need to live in His promise. In Him, our sins are forgiven. In Baptism, the Spirit breathes into our empty lives the life of faith that we need. He makes us dear children of our Father in Heaven, and we are brought into His Kingdom by His grace. In this Baptism we are now clothed in His Righteousness, a finer weave than any earthly material as it covers over all our misdeeds. In the Lord’s Supper, He feeds us that Heavenly food that fills us with hope and the assurance that His death was enough to cover all our sin. As we swallow His Word of promise, our fears are swallowed up in the hope He gives us. As we are sent out in peace, the worries that the world, our flesh and the devil try to throw on our backs are only fleeting attempts to distract us from our Heavenly calling.

The writer of the Book of Hebrews (11:1-16) makes a list of the faithful saints of old to remind us of all of those who have gone before in faith. This list does not end with you and me. We are encouraged to share this good news with others who still have not heard, have not touched, and have not seen that the Lord is Good. In His Spirit we now live the Kingdom Life of faith, trust and hope so that all can experience the pleasure of God – that they are part of His Kingdom, too, even as we are called to believe His word and trust in His promises today.

Pastor Carl