I’ve never really been all that good with pets either. They’re fine but they’re just not really my idea of fun.
And I hate bugs. Especially flying bugs. When I was a kid I was stung right next to my eye. Twice.
So I don’t tend to pay those kinds of these too much mind and when I do it’s usually with disdain.
God pays attention to all those things. It’s his creation and he not only cares about those things, he loves them.
God plants them, waters them, grows them, prunes them and on and on.
This is the motif of Christ in Luke as he is teaching us about worry.
Christ is telling us something about who we are.
Christ is telling us not to worry. But why?
What about when there is a real lack of food, clothing, shelter, good health?
Aren’t we supposed to be concerned? Aren’t we supposed to worry.
Aren’t we supposed to be the disciples on the boat who saw the reality of the situation that told them they were about to capsize and drown in a very real sea?
Maybe this passage is less about anti-worry than it is about pro-sufficientness. (Yes, I know that’s not a word.)
Can worry and trust exist at the same time?
Luke has been running us through a new way to look at the world. He has been asking us to imagine the Kingdom of God the way Christ saw it.
And here we see something about what we are worth in that Kingdom. This passage is asking us to judge how we define our worth.
Is our sense of worth determined by how much we worry about our food, clothes, health?
How often do we look to food, possessions, savings accounts, IRAs, Social Security, military strength, kids for security and peace?
Christ tells us that security and peace come from God, only and alone. It is not found in those things no matter how much we tell ourselves otherwise.
Right before these verses, Christ tells us the parable of the “Rich Fool”. The fool’s abundance was overflowing so he wanted to build new storehouses to put it all in. What was so foolish about trying to be prepared for the future? What was different in his thinking that led Jesus to call him foolish? Where was the fool’s trust?
So we come back to this passage. Can our trust truly be split between some of the things of the world and some of the things of the Kingdom? Can’t we really serve two masters if it makes sense and we have a good plan for it?
What maybe gets us most about taking this kind of passage seriously is that it all seems so daunting. Especially in the culture we come from where we are taught that we are only worth what we can make of ourselves, on our own.
These are worrisome statements by Jesus.
But we were never meant to do all this alone. We are called to be the Church, not just an eye or a finger but the whole entire body of Christ.
And it’s when we start to see the church in the light of the fulfilled Kingdom of God that we can take seriously Christ telling us to sell our possessions and give to the poor.
We can be people who say, “Yes” instead of “Well, I only have a little bit of fish and bread.”
This is not a neglecting of self but just the opposite, a realization of self-worth in God. When we recognize that in ourselves, we are free to see it in others.
Luke 21 tells us the story of the woman who gave her last two cents.
Acts 5 tells us of Annanias and Saphira who tried to serve both God and themselves.
The woman knew where her worth came from and therefore where her security lay. She could give out of her poverty.
A & S couldn’t see that far. They could only see that they may not have enough. They were afraid.
We worry out of fear. Is there fear in the Kingdom of God?
When Christ looked forward to the fulfilled Kingdom, did he see fear, consumerism, greed, the need to possess more and more and more? How about insecurity?
Or did he see a Kingdom where God provided what was needed?
Did he see a love that drove out fear?
Right after these verses, Christ talks to us about readiness. This reliance on God in total is our act of readiness, our being alert. We are ready for the fulfilled Kingdom of God. We have been on alert to make our lives and the Church look as much like what Christ saw when he look ahead as we can.
We worry because we only see the things that we can see instead of seeing through Christ the things we cannot.
Do we go homeless and starve to death and rot away from disease due to this passage? Probably. If we go at this alone.
The body must work together and when it does, it is an amazing sight to behold.