Scripture: Matthew 6:25-34
Key Verse: (30) “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?”
Reflection: Charlotte is gorgeous in springtime. The azaleas. The fresh green leaves of the canopy of trees throughout the city. The lush lawns. There is a stunning display of God’s creative imagination before our eyes everyday. How could all of this be imagined? What intricate care stirred in the heart of the Holy One to call forth such beauty? Yet what happens to each little flower, each tiny blade of grass?
More and more I believe we are people becoming trapped by fear. On the way to work this week I heard a story about how a generation ago parents let their children run outside into the backyard and play on their own. No more the story continued. No more do most parents allow children to play unattended anywhere, even in their own backyard. No more — because of fear. Marketers play on our fear to sell us everything from bottled water to security systems to life insurance to houses within gated communities with guards on duty twenty-four seven. Many of our politicians play on our fear to gain our votes promising us security which they cannot ever provide.
Fear. It is killing us long before we die.
In our reading today from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, it is evident Jesus knows how it is with us. He knows we are trapped by fear. Why else would he say, “Do not worry about your life”? Yet in the face of our fear he points to the wondrous birds of the air, the lilies of the field, the grass of the field. All of these are exquisite creations of God which last for but an instant. If God so clothes these in glory, exceeding the lavishness of the glory of Solomon, will God not much more clothe us, care for us?
As you and I will inevitably be grabbed by fear this day, when we are, let us take a glance at the flowers of spring, the fresh luscious grass, the flittering birds so beautifully colored and say to ourselves, “How much more! How much more is God attentive to us!” “How much more does God treasure and clothe us!” So doing, we may actually live more fully this day as God intends us to do.
As the Brief Statement of Faith of our church declares:
“In life and in death we belong to God .
With believers in every time and place,
we rejoice that nothing in life or in death
can separate us from the Love of God
in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Prayer: Holy God, remind us over and over this day that in life and in death we belong, always belong, to you. We pray this in the name of Jesus, whose hands, though bloodied on the cross, survive to hold and heal and carry us through death to life. Amen.
Prayer adapted from the hymn, We Cannot Measure How You Heal, by John Bell, Glory to God, #797
Author: Pete Peery
[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].