I have begun keeping bees. First, I joined the Urban Beekeepers Group at Saint Timothy Lutheran Church in Saint Louis. Then, I built a small hive in my backyard. Today, I am surprised at how keeping a colony of bees has reordered my world.

I have come to treasure these insects. Their lives are fascinating. Not only that, but their livelihood has changed how I look at my yard. Suddenly, I am more concerned about plants for pollinators. Nectar and pollen provision drive my decisions in landscaping. A patch of clover no longer sends me to the store to pick up some pesticide. Instead, I am concerned about nectar flow, the seasonal timing of blooms, and water sources for the bees. Again, I guess you could say that caring for bees has reordered my world.

Love has a way of doing that, does it not? Love reorders your world.

Perhaps it is not your yard but your home. You are expecting your first child. In a few months, the spare bedroom becomes a nursery. A crib with protective padding and a colorful mobile fills the room. There is a changing table, a diaper genie, a rocker, and a baby monitor. In creating your “baby’s room,” you have prepared a world of discovery for your child. Animals and alphabet decorations adorn the walls. As your child grows, he or she will discover the world you have designed... and more than that, your child will discover there is someone who designed that world in love.

This is the kind of discovery Jesus shares with His disciples today. It is a discovery that God has designed our world in love.

Someone in the crowd has just asked Jesus to tell his brother to divide his inheritance with him. Now, remember, Jesus is proclaiming the kingdom of God. He has called for courage in the face of persecution (Luke 12:4-7) and faithful confession in the time of trial (Luke 12:8-12) and someone in the crowd is evidently more concerned about his inheritance here than in the hereafter. So, he asks Jesus to settle a legal dispute.

This is the kind of discovery Jesus shares with His disciples today. It is a discovery that God has designed our world in love.

Jesus does not change the subject and avoid the man’s request. Instead, he taps into the wisdom tradition to address the man’s distress. Jesus knows our temporal anxiety, how it causes us to grab rather than to give. For that reason, he offers a vision of God’s gracious giving which changes our perspective and reorders our world.

Jesus asks His disciples to look at the flowers and see more than their beauty. He wants them to experience God’s extravagant love. A fragile flower, here today and gone tomorrow, is something God takes time to adorn. Birds that fly from branch to branch suddenly remind us of God’s provision. Food is freely given to His creatures.

Jesus offers us a glimpse of God’s wisdom. God oversees everything and overlooks nothing. If this is how God cares for the flowers and the birds, imagine how He cares for you.

Jesus assures us God has prepared the world for our good. That is God’s glory, to take what is His and give it to His people. He has done this with creation, putting all things under our feet, and, even more so, He has done this with redemption. God, the Father, spared not His only Son but gave Him up for us all. His death bears God’s punishment. His resurrection bestows God’s grace.

Jesus, the One who embodies God’s care for our deepest need, reveals God’s care for our daily needs as well. Do not be anxious. God created His world with you in mind. He knows your needs and will supply them.

Do not be anxious. God created His world with you in mind. He knows your needs and will supply them.

Such love reorders our world. Instead of seeking to care for ourselves, we serve in God's Kingdom and care for others. We know God will take care of us.

These words of redirection are timely today. A global pandemic has recently reordered our world. Supply chain issues and market volatility, domestic disturbances, and global politics have changed how we live. Whether it is the gas we put in our tank, the baby formula we give to our children, or the groceries we buy at the store, we know provisions are in shorter supply. We are tempted to grab rather than give.

When provisions are low, a preservation instinct is high. The world becomes a place where we get rather than give. We become anxious, defensive. We speak about my food, my family, my job, and begin to live off a survival instinct.

Jesus assures us we will survive, but not because we take of ourselves. No, we could not add a single hour to our life (12:25). We will survive because God takes care of us. We are loved by our heavenly Father. When the Creator and Giver of all good things is caring for you, suddenly, you are free to care for others. In a world which anxiously grabs, God’s people confidently give (12:33). They become a small sign of the Kingdom, hidden, and not often noticed. But because Christ has secured our treasure in Heaven, we confidently share the beauty of His bounty on earth.


Additional Resources:

Craft of Preaching-Check out our previous articles on Luke 12:22-34 (35-40).

Concordia Theology-Various helps from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO to assist you in preaching Luke 12:22–34 (35–40).

Text Week-A treasury of resources from various traditions to help you preach Luke 12:22–34 (35–40).

Lectionary Podcast-Dr. Jeffrey Pulse of Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, IN walks us through Luke 12:22–34 (35–40).