Matthew 6:25-34

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 can any of you by worrying 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, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 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 strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.  Matthew 6:25-34

Someone once told me the difference between worry and anxiety, or mild stress and high stress, is the difference between approaching a hiking trail and seeing a sign that reads “Beware of Bears on Trail” or approaching the same trail as a hiker comes running down screaming that they just saw a bear on the trail. That is a clear difference. What is clear about the worries that grip us today?

Today I start heading back to Houston after taking a few days off to visit my hometown. When I got to town I drove through the city park, a place full of childhood memories. I drove by the swimming pool – much nicer than the one we filled up in the summer. The parking lot was full of cars with very few bikes in view. In my day there were hardly any cars at the pool with several bike racks chock full of bicycles. My sense is that children in town aren’t as free to roam as they  used to be. We seem to worry more about them today.

Jesus invites us not to worry so much. He uses the natural world to explain why we ought not worry as much as we do. But even the natural world feels far less safe today that it did back then. Jesus had no comment on climate change or the potential threats of fracking on ground water. Taking Jesus’ words to heart seems as difficult as expecting my daughter to let my grandson ride his bike around the neighborhood as freely as we did back in the ’60’s. Easy to say but it isn’t going to happen.

Chaos in politics, saber rattling in North Korea, diplomatic moves in Russia, ongoing strife with immigration, who will play quarterback for the Texans – the air is snowing worry.

But none of that can overwhelm the simple power of taking one thing at a time. Of doing what we can, where we can, when we can, and letting the rest go. Of striving first for the kingdom of God, trusting that God will take care of what we need as we need it.

Let us pray: Dear Lord, there is always so much more going on in the world than we can affect or change. And there is so much we can do each day to live our lives to the fullest. Teach us balance. Teach us discernment. Take our worries and free us to trust. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


2 Responses to “Matthew 6:25-34”

  1. Carolee Groux Says:

    I tend to be a “worry wart” so this passage from Matthew is a favorite of mine. Enough worrying! I can only do so much in a day and I need to prioritize and let the rest go. I need to trust that God will sufficiently take care of my needs for each day.

    I like these verses from the text of Matthew 6: “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 can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?”

    Thank you Pr. Kerry for your insight today on one of my favorites.

  2. Dave Armstrong Says:

    The illustration about the bear and the hiker is priceless. Thank you for the reminder that we worry about the wrong things.

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