Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Do Not Worry....Do Not Be Afraid

Luke 12:22  He said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23  For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24  Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25  And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 26  If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? 27  Consider the lilies, 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. 28  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you--you of little faith! 29  And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. 30  For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31  Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32  "Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33  Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“Do not not be afraid”.
When I read these words of Jesus I hear the voice in my head saying – “easier said than done”. Worry and fear are a staple of human existence. When we get together we talk about the things that frighten us. We share stories of crime, of financial pressure, and of illness. These are the things that fill our news reports, and the things that want to keep us awake at night.

Jesus knows this and suggests an antidote:  “Sell your possessions, and give alms” (vs 33). This is an act of positive trust in God. Become generous as a sign that we choose to trust the care of God rather than trust in the wealth we have collected. I know that some may scoff in this “foolishness”. However, accumulated wealth does not give peace of mind either. Either we worry that we will be robbed of it, or we worry that it is not enough!

Perhaps for today you might give up your trust in possessions and choose, instead, to trust the Creator. Begin by giving away something to someone in need.

For Thought
Simply trusting every day;
Trusting through a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.
·         Trusting as the moments fly,
Trusting as the days go by,
Trusting Him, whate’er befall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all
Words: Ed­gar P. Stites, 1876.

The Eighth Sunday after Epiphany
Protected by God
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 95.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.   

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