Devotional: We’re in this together
Published 3:11 pm Friday, July 21, 2023
“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 which of you by worrying can 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, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 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? 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 seek all these things, and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” — Matthew 6:25-33
Many of you will recognize this passage from the Sermon on the Mount. So much beauty and care goes into the simple things of nature and creation that we should rest assured that God also cares for us, even more than birds and flowers.
What this passage should not do, though, is dismiss the genuine concern for those who are hungry and without adequate clothing. It would be easy to use this passage to oppress those with real need by assuring them that they just need more faith – God will provide. When your children are hungry, that is a cruel message. Jesus absolutely does not want anyone to lessen their ministries of care and compassion. Instead, Jesus is speaking to people who worry, worry, worry. The very next verse is the key: So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
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If you are seeking the things you might need for comfort in the days to come, then you will have a hard time seeking God’s righteousness, God’s kingdom, in this day. If you are a control freak trying to dictate how your life will unfold in the future, you will be sorely upset. If you were broken by COVID and find yourself unable to be and do in the world as you once could, you understand the danger of worry. People can easily become consumed with things far bigger than our ability to handle. Somehow in the uncertainty of life, Jesus is able to make a promise – you will be OK, one day at a time. We are all in this together. We are all beautiful. We are all loved.
REV. DR. PETER SMITH is the pastor for Farmville Presbyterian Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.