Friday, May 5, 2017

Therefore Do Not Worry

I'm holding my church leadership in prayer tonight, as we anticipate an important retreat tomorrow morning around financial sustainability, mission and the church's future.  What kinds of proposals will we entertain?  How will we receive them?  Are they proposals inspired by the Spirit's generosity in our midst?  And what if they are?  What then?  We're thinking about mission and the church's future.  We're wondering about creative, thoughtful ways to raise the funds necessary for dynamic mission.  And we're hoping to build enough trust, enough respect, enough hope--so that we can go out on a couple of limbs.  For the Gospel!

So my thoughts turn to Matthew 6 and to Jesus' words on the choices we make: serving God or serving wealth.  My thoughts turn to Jesus' approach to anxiety: Look at the birds of the air!  Consider the lilies of the field!  When everything else in our culture cries BEWARE!  When everything else in our souls cries LOOK OUT!  When everything else in our institutional life cries NOT ENOUGH!  Will we--really, truly, faithfully--look at the birds of air?  Will we--as Christians, as disciples of Jesus, as the church--consider the lilies of the field?

I'm excited to find out!

Matthew 6:24-34

No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes
the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.