All last week I moaned and groaned about Sunday being LWML Sunday, and how that was preventing me from preaching on the text I wanted to preach on which was Genesis 2:18-25.
So I wrote a sermon on the suggested Gospel text of St. Matthew 6:22-34, with the theme that God provides and how we are to seek first His kingdom and righteousness.
Other than switching the Gospel text and using the LWML bulletin covers and some of the suggested hymns, we otherwise used the assigned propers for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost.
What I neglected to take note of however was the assigned introit for the day, which was parts of Psalm 127, including the following:
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
And while we were reciting it, I almost walked over to the pulpit and threw my sermon out, and preached a new sermon, using the Gospel text and the introit.
So often we hear complaints and excuses that the reason a couple does not have more children than the national average of 2.11, is that they fear they will not have enough, that they will not be able to provide for the children in their household. Families have come to believe that no matter how much money is in the bank, no matter how much excess is in their budget, that one more child in the house will completely bankrupt the family.
Enter the Gospel text of St. Matthew 6:22-34, reminding us that just as our Father in heaven provides for the birds of the heavens and the grass of the field, so too does He provide for you, the crown of His creation.
Now the assigned Gospel text was from St. Mark 10:2-16, which is Jesus speaking about marriage and divorce; a fine companion text for Genesis 2 and Psalm 127. And throughout the week many pastors were imploring other pastors to not shy away from the Genesis and Mark texts, and to preach on the institution of marriage.
And I am sure that many fine sermons were preached on those texts.
But the LWML got it right.
Right now what the Church needs are more faithful members, and the number 1 way for that to happen is procreation, and the number 1 way for the Church to encourage its members is to remind them that God provides. That God provides in the wilderness; that He provides in exile; that He provides in the fields; and He provides for you and for however many littles ones He has placed in your care.
That is the sermon I should have preached. That is the sermon that should have been preached in a whole lot of churches on Sunday, LWML Sunday or not.
Is that the sermon LWML intended?
Well, that is probably why they leave it up to the discretion of the preacher to preach the text as they see best.
But as far as the text goes, the LWML got it right this year.
Thanks ladies! Once more you have provided for the Church.