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God is Enough!
a sermon based on Matthew 6:26-33
by The Iowa Starr (DPSer)

This sermon is an attempt to use submissions from this web site.... I added a personal example here and there, but this is the meat of what is being prepared....

I finally got to walk the nature trail over at the Amana’s a few weeks ago. Andrea, Ben and Zach took me out there. It’s a nice walk and it only takes a few steps out of the parking lot before you feel like you’re really out there in the woods. That’s nice too. You all know I like to hike, and hiking any time of year is good. But in the fall it’s very nice. I like the sound of leaves crunching under foot. I like the autumn colors, and when you take a deep breath it smells so nice - like Heaven’s spice rack, one of my friends says.

It’s beautiful here, but I suppose it’s beautiful in Wisconsin, and Ohio and California too. It’s probably even beautiful in Greenland, Quebec, and Finland this time of year.

We’ve been lucky here - the harvest has gone well, and many of our farmers have had a good crop to bring in from the fields. That isn’t necessarily so everywhere, even in northwest Iowa there just wasn’t enough rain.

Our church and community has been blessed too. It’s fun to be a part of a church were people are doing stuff and where there are kids in Sunday School, and where we have a few things going for us. A lot of people here have had a great year for one reason or another, maybe because they have a new house to live in, or a new job, or there’s a new baby. But even when we can count our blessings, in the back of our mind, we remember there are some people who only have the hope of a better year next year to sustain them through the winter.

But no matter what, no matter how the year has gone, no matter what challenges or victories you have faced. The call to thanksgiving goes out to everyone. And, I think it’s more than a call to rejoice in the good stuff, It’s a call to consider the lilies and to remember just how much we are under the watchful eye and tender loving care of God.

There’s a lot of power in the concept of being thankful. A friend of mine told me about a prison chaplain telling him about a prisoner who found God by learning to be thankful. He had told the chaplan that he just couldn’t pray. So the Chaplain said, “don’t make it so hard. Just, every day, say “Thank you God, for.........” Over time, the chaplain encouraged him to be thankful for a few more things each day, and to try and not repeat the things he was thankful for - (like his Mother) - unless he had a new reason to be thankful for it that day, (perhaps his mother had came for a visit).

But, as the weeks progressed, and the prisoner kept doing this, he realized that this attitude of thankfulness had turned into a bit of a conversation. .... He was learning to pray.... and a relationship with God was emerging.

So, being thankful, even when there isn’t a whole lot on the surface to be thankful about is a very powerful tool. And if you have trouble with the practice of prayer. Maybe this is a place where you can start too.

But, our scripture takes things a step further, I think. Because it is not just that we will be happier if we take on an attitude of thankfulness and think happy thoughts.

Do you remember the story of the Widow’s Mite? That little lady was so thankful for the presence of God in her life that she gave all she had, not because she had received so many blessings. Certainly not the kind of blessings we might be mindful of today, like family and money enough to pay the bills, or a good place to live. All that had been taken away from her. But, she was thankful still, for God’s faithful presence. It was always there with her, even when the going was tough. What would you give for a friend who was faithful like that - who would stand by you even when times were tough?

And that’s the whole message here - that there is no need for you to worry or to be anxious about your life, because the out-come is not up for grabs. God is enough. You are far more important to him than the Sparrows, and even they don’t fall to the ground without God’s knowledge. You don’t have to qualify for God’s love, God’s blessings don’t go just to the rich or the happy or the winners. Blessed are the poor, the peacemakers, the meek and those who seek justice in this land. You are the children of God and you will be blessed.

That’s because we know God can be counted upon. He’s the same one who is lord of the flowers, the sparrows and all of us. God is enough!

As I said, it isn’t that we will be happier if we think positive thoughts. It just has to ease our mind to embrace the facts - that God is in charge, God is good, God is all powerful. What more is necessary, except to give our lives back to his love and service?