Scripture: Luke 12:13-31
Key Verses: 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.
Reflection: First World Problems. That has become a common way of tagging our anxieties, issues and problems that might be a bit ridiculous or trivial in the larger world. When the vending machine is out of Diet Coke right before my 3 p.m. meeting, that is a crisis for me. It is also a first world problem. We get annoyed because no one can make a decision on which restaurant to choose for dinner, because there are four within a mile that are great—first world problem. The tag line helps us to frame our small crisis and keep it in check. If we do not keep it in check, a first world problem of wearing the same dress to a party could easily become presumed sabotage. Judgement soon invites others into the anxiety. In the larger world, there are people who do not have clean water today. Still others will have only one simple meal. Our problems are real, but Jesus reminds us to check in on our worries.
If we continue to live in our anxieties, we will experience worry instead of true life. We may not even be able to find a bit of joy. Jesus points to the flowers and the birds to show us the joy they experience. God knows what they need and provides. God cares for them and will care for us. We forget how deeply we are loved. May that knowledge of God’s love guide us throughout today.
Prayer: I know that I am deeply loved by you, God. When I am tired, anxious, worried and frustrated, help me breathe in that love. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].