In the name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
All of science is merely speculation. Here’s what I mean by that. The scientific method: we see things happening. We speculate on why they happen. Then we develop an experiment to test if our theory is correct. Science is speculative. Which means, that if some new information comes along that conflicts with our theory then the scientific explanations change. Science has things called “laws”. But they only remain “laws” so long as they are constant. Up to this point in history those established laws of science are the ones which have been tested so much, and so often, which are so constant that we are pretty sure they are true. Pretty sure. Not 100% sure. Some new information could come around the corner tomorrow and change all of these speculations. Science is speculative. It is built upon the idea that the universe is constant and orderly. Built upon Natural Laws.
In fact, some of the most cherished teachings of those who claim they don’t believe but merely follow facts, are merely speculation. They are not provable, not verifiable, not testable facts. Mere speculation. Without verified, tested facts, one might suggest that such “science” is not science at all, but mere fairytales. One example of such speculation is the theory of evolution. Do not buy the bluster that this is a proven fact. It is mere speculation. It can not be observed. It can not be tested. It can not be proven. It is not a Natural Law.
For all verified Natural Laws there is no point worrying about them. There is nothing you can do to keep sun from rising, autumn from coming, or make the summer that has passed warmer than it was. These things simply are. They are governed by natural laws, by forces beyond your control.
Have you ever notice that the Church does not pray against God’s divinely appointed Natural Laws? Instead we that they be upheld. So we pray for seasonable weather. For nature to function the way our God designed it to. We do not pray for Thunder Bay to be tropical. For winter to be like summer. We pray that things go as they should. It is when Natural Law ceases to function that we get concerned. Then we must pray. We pray that God restore balance and order to His world.
Ponder that. The universe has order. It has laws that govern it. Laws given by God. Did you realize that this idea of an orderly universe is the foundation for everything we have learned in science? That all technology is based on this idea? This is a Christian idea. An idea based on the fact that a God exists who is orderly, just, and purposeful. Such an idea can be shared by anyone who believes that there is a god who created and made all things to be orderly. You don’t have to be Christian to believe this. But having said that, an orderly universe is a specifically Christian assumption based on what God has revealed of Himself in the Bible. Buddhism, for instance, makes no such claim. It does not assume the world to be orderly. Rather, for Buddhists, the world is thought to be ethereal, an illusion.
Wherever you find this idea of an orderly universe created by a rational being who governs it by Natural Laws there scientific observation and knowledge, and thus technology, has flourished. If there was no God, no ordering force, why would we assume that anything is understandable, orderly, or remains the same from day to day? If there is no design to the universe, and thus no designer, the rather arbitrary assumption that what happens on earth is understandable and governed by Natural Laws falls apart. Therefore, the nature of the observable universe testifies that God exists. Natural Law, the laws of science point to a God who exists.
We worry because we forget and doubt this. Repent. This is Our Lord’s point. Why worry about things that are certainties according to natural order of the universe? You can’t change them. The birds always have enough to eat. If they do not Natural Law is malfunctioning, the birds flee, and we realize something is dreadfully wrong. The flowers of field grow. They look gorgeous. You can depend on it. God has made these passing, fading things beautiful. Why should we worry about how we will adorn ourselves? Not clothe ourselves, adorn and make ourselves beautiful. If God cares so much about such passing things does He not already care that much more about you for whom He sacrificed His beloved Son to save? In fact, Natural Law teaches us it is not ourselves, but God who adorns us with beauty. The grasses of the field grow and God adorns them with beauty. Therefore, we who have been created to live forever with our God will be clothed for this passing time, and adorned in beauteous robes for eternity. Robes made radiant by the blood of God’s Son.
Jesus started with an obvious statement, another Natural Law. You do not have power to serve two masters. If you try you will always love one more than the other and start to resent the other. It is not possible for humans to do this.
But we try to don’t we? We want to have our cake and eat it too. We want what the world offers. And we want what God offers. This is not possible. You can only serve one master. Which is to say, you can only have faith and trust in one master. You can not be a slave of God doing His work, trusting in His ways, and pursuing all the world gives it slaves: wealth, possessions, entertainment, gadgets, games, camps, smartphones. If you live your life for that stuff you are a slave to that stuff. You will resent God and will think that all the demands He makes of you that take you away from your entertainments are stupid. Get up early on Sunday morning to go spend time with Him? Listening to stuff I don’t really believe? What? I could be sleeping. I could be golfing.
Jesus says to you, “Is life not more than golf and sleep?” But, but, I stayed up late gaming. I stayed up late partying. “Is life not more than gaming? Is not life more than partying?” How you answer these questions shows who your master is.
You do not have power to serve or live for these things—be it pleasure, your children, or anything other than God—and still serve Him. In fact, here’s a Natural Law, not one of God’s original Natural Laws, but one brought into effect because of Adam’s sin: We don’t have power to serve God at all. This is a Natural Law that no matter how much we observe it we still deny and want to ignore it. But it is a truth of Scripture and the universe nonetheless. You don’t have any power at all to serve God on your own. You will always be tempted to serve another master. You will always be tempted to live not for God but for your kids, for pleasure, for sleep, for drinking, for gaming, for golfing, for your camp, or your freedom, you name it. You don’t have power NOT to serve these things. You are a slave to them.
There is only one way to get out from underneath this slavery. You must die to your masters. Thanks be to God you are slain in the waters of Holy Baptism and rise from those waters daily by faith in Christ Jesus. But daily you must turn your back on your old masters by the gift of repentance and faith which clings to Christ. For each day your old Adam rises up from his watery grave to terrorize you again. But don’t worry about tomorrow. Christ has secured it. Today seek Him and the rule of His Law of Life. For that ultimate tomorrow He will come again and put behind you that old rotting corpse Adam who keeps tormenting you. He will take you out of the graveyard into His Father’s glorious garden paradise.
But to get you through the Lord points to the Natural Law of fatherhood. Your Father in heaven knows you need these things. He loves you. He is the true Father. His Fatherhood does not breakdown or fall apart the way so much in this world does. Food, drink, clothes, shelter, necessities for you and your kids. He knows you need these things. And alive in Him, hidden in Him, serving and seeking Him won’t He provide all you need? Most certainly!
How do we know? Because He provided your ultimate need. As the creator and Father of all mankind, He and His Son have set about righting what has gone wrong in this world. They have set about destroying that Natural Law of sin, and restoring their original natural Law of Life and perpetual energy. Science observes and calls the Natural Law of Sin: entropy. That is, decay, things falling apart. That constant reality that all is broken or breaking down, manifesting in our souls as a wicked desire to serve created things rather than the Creator. The Father has righted this wrong Law. He has done it in Himself. Through His Son. His Son is a decay-swallowing black hole. His cross took all the universe’s decay, including the cause of wickedness and decay into itself. He paid the cost. He destroyed that Law’s power. Sucking its power into Himself, obliterating it in His death. And rising in victory over it for He is source of all life and energy. He has defeated the Natural Law of death and decay and replaced it for those who call on His name with the original Natural Law of life and endless energy.
Moreover, He plugs you into His Life and energy in Holy Baptism. He feeds His energy source, His own body and blood saturated with His life and energy into you. He speaks and breathes it into you to sustain you till that day when His original Natural Law of life is restored in His new creation where we return to the paradise of the garden and all that is good
I know you worry and have not the power to stop yourself. But that is your old life under the broken Law of Sin. Repent. For you are under the new Law of life where God takes care of what you need.
In +Jesus’ name, Amen.
—Pastor David Haberstock
Epiphany Lutheran Church
Thunder Bay, ON