Please read Luke 12:22-34 for today.
I’m sure you have read this passage before, but maybe not at a time such as this. I wonder what I worried about Feb 25, 2020. Whatever it was, I’m pretty sure those worries pale in comparison to my worries these days. Maybe that is true for you, too, but maybe not. Worry is an interesting thing. Some of us are prone to worry about anything and everything, and there are those who think worrying is a waste of time. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, I wonder if your relationship to worry has changed since last year. What have you been worrying about?
Do not worry, Jesus says, about your life, what you will eat, your body, what you will wear. Jesus spends quite a bit of time making his point. “Can worry add a single hour to your lifespan?” Or as the original Greek might have been translated, “Can you make yourself taller by worrying?” Jesus, it seems, is concerned about the amount of worry in the world and seeks to turn us away from worry towards trust.
Today I hear this passage differently in the midst of a global pandemic than I have in the past. As I sit with Jesus’ words this time something new stands out to me. Verse 32 reads, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” I don’t ever remember reading those sweet words, “little flock,” and yet that is what Jesus calls us. Little flock. While Jesus is clearly trying to steer us away from worry he doesn’t berate us for worrying. He turns us by reminding us that we belong to him. We are held inside the protective care of the shepherd or the God who cares even for the birds. We are not alone, isolated, abandoned. We are Christ’s own little flock.
Fellow members of Jesus’ little flock, I know you have worries. God knows, too. Just for today, write them down and give them to God, trusting that the one who cares for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field cares for you and your worries, too.
In Peace, Pastor Ruth
Let us pray:
We are turning, Lord, to hear you, see you, and know you. You are merciful and kind, slow to anger, rich in blessing. With every twist and turn, lead our steps back to your grace and your mercy. Lead us in your ways of new life, forgiveness, and re-creation. We pray in the name of Christ, the one who reveals your love, Amen.