In writing sermons I try to pay attention to transitions, and so I confess that I have a quarrel with the cutting and pasting of Gospel texts for the 10th and 11th Sundays after Pentecost. The bridge passage that connects them (Luke 12:22-31), which is excised, is both a valuable commentary on what has gone before—Life does not consist in the abundance of possessions—and a preparation for what is to come—Seek the kingdom and these things will be given to you. I suggest backing up a few verses before reading this week’s Gospel lesson.
“Do not fear,” Jesus teaches his disciples, “it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Their fears are rooted in anxiety about daily survival, in contrast to the promise of God’s providence, recorded in the history of Israel (see Exod. 16). Jesus then commands the disciples to give generously to the poor.