Let’s Celebrate Together! A Concordia Sermon on Matthew 25:14-30
† In the Name of Jesus †
May the grace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ convince you that you will celebrate with God!
- We miss 2/3rds of the Story
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone, and they are droning on about everything, maybe even complaining, and then you realized you missed something incredibly important?
Or maybe you are laying in bed that night, and you are drifting off, reliving the day and you realize the most important thing was skipped over, as if it was not important, but it’s the most important thing you’ve heard in months.
I think we usually do that with the gospel reading this morning. We listen and we focus in on the third guy in the room – the one who didn’t do anything—the one who is the bad example, the one whose actions resulted in the worst consequences imaginable.
The one who went to hell…having lived in it here.
And we skipped over the two men whose lives were lived in such a way that they were invited to celebrate with God.
- Why do we always go that way?
Which brings up a good question – why do we always focus n the negative? Even if it is in the minority, as it is in this parable about the kingdom of God, we focus on the one who fails? We analyze what he did, we point out his fear, we saw his judgment and we either rant and rave about his foolishness and lack of faith, or we wonder if he is us.
If we make the same mistake he made, if we have the same ignorant fear, no, I am not going there.
- So do we see the 5-2’s God creates in us?
The easiest way to ensure that isn’t us, is to look, not at what the 2 and 5 did, but their relationship to the master.
Look at verse 19,
“19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’”
Where that other guy went, worrying and be afraid, the 5 and 2 do not. Life is as it is, as if the master had never left. He entrusted them with significant sum, and he used it as he knew his master would want him to…
It wasn’t a big deal in his mind—it wasn’t a point of bragging, or pride, or anything No reward was promised, yet one is given. It was business as usual. Life with in the Master’s
Let me rephrase that—no other reward or honor is expected, because they just did what the master expected them to do…what He entrusted them to do. It wasn’t a big deal to them, it was the life they led—which was why God entrusted them with what He did….
Except He didn’t leave them alone—He empowered them to do what they do, and was there with them.
We see that kind of thing around here, as people do what God leads them to do.
That can be something we think is big—like a health fair, or a women’s tea that brings in 2-3 times our attendance. Or being the speaker at such, even though you don’t like being up front. Or it can something like Pat caring for cats, or someone deciding to paint the front doors,
It is things that do not make sense, like a deacon going and ministering to people whose brokenness looked much different than his own – as Deacon Bob did, ministering to others on a retreat last week. Or an old codger, who found it cool that he could talk to two teenage twins on a vacation. It’s another person arranging for people to celebrate Birthday’s and making sure others aren’t alone on thanksgiving.
It is ministry where we are at, whether in the doctor’s office, on a school campus. It’s doing what God wanted us to do , with what He’s entrusted us with in life.
- The Kicker
And that is the issue – it is what God entrusts and empowers us to do. That’s why it doesn’t seem special, its just what we are meant to do…. And we do..
Not because we fear His wrath—this kind of stuff comes out of a love for God because He first loved us.
We can’t always express it in perfect verbiage – but this love causes us to do these things – inside and outside of our comfort zone—simply because the one who died and rose for us leads us into these things.
For we died and rose with Him, proving that He isn’t a God to be terrified of, a God who isn’t harsh, whom we don’t have to worry about disappointing.
He is a God who wants to embrace us, cleanse and restore us, a God who we trust in, and know…
That’s what we celebrate by the way, not that we did good, not that were faithful, we celebrate the relationship that made this all possible….
Which is why we don’t dwell in terror, but in a peace that passes all understanding, as we celebrate with our Master, Jesus, and His Dad, and the Holy Spirit – and all the people of God.