Sermon preached at Our Savior Lutheran Church on February 27, 2011 for the 8th Sunday after Epiphany. Sermon text: Matthew 6:24-34
A few years ago the television game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” was very popular. It was a quiz show where a contestant had to answer increasingly difficult multiple-choice questions on a wide variety of topics. What made this show different, though, were the “lifelines.”
Every contestant had 3 lifelines they could use. The first was to take a poll of the studio audience to see which answer they thought was correct. The second was called 50/50 and it took the 4 possible choices for the correct answer and narrowed it down to two. But my favorite lifeline was the last one: phone a friend. Here the contestant would actually get to call a friend on the phone who might be able to help answer the question. I think they got to pick three different friends to be available, though they’d only be able to choose one on the show.
If you went onto a show like that, which friends would you choose for your “phone a friend”? You’d have to think of who you know who knows a lot of facts, or who can think on their feet, or maybe who’s good at entering in questions into the computer and quickly finding the right information for the answer. But you can probably think of at least someone who might be a good go-to person for this.
And really, it’s not just going on a game show that you need “go-to” people to help you. In our lives, every time we have a problem, every time we’re met with a challenge, we instinctively look for that lifeline. We look for someone to help us. It might be someone in our family, it might be a friend, it might even be ourself as we rely on our own abilities to fix our problems.
But where is our God on that list of lifelines? Is he first as we constantly go to him in prayer? Do we always seek what he wants for us in our lives and trust him to take care of us with the rest? Or does our God fall much farther down the list? Has he become the last resort? Has our spiritual needs of faith and forgiveness become something we strive for, or are they just an afterthought?
Friends, our God and his love for us are the only true lifeline we need. Every worry and problem we have, God provides the solution. He gives us food and clothing and homes and all we need. He gives us his Son for forgiveness, life, and salvation. He has promised to give us all we need now and forever. Seek him first!