So do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.
Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Matthew 6:34 NRSV
I'm soon away to Trenton UC to conduct the fifth and final session of our book study on Sermon on the Mount by Amu-Jill Levine. I've found the book helpful and provocative and admire that Levine, who is Jewish, is respectful and insightful about Jesus, the Jew, and the New Testament.
Today we'll touch on the portion of chapter 6 of Matthew in which he invites the disciples to live beyond worry and anxiety. As Jesus speaks he mentions the birds and the wildflowers which don't accumulate stuff and simply go about their lives. Given his setting, these were likely references to what they could literally see close at hand. I've been to Galilee in April when the wildflowers were breathtakingly profuse, and in October when the hillsides are brown and appear barren.
Levine makes the connection to the apostle Paul's words to the early Christian congregation in Philippi. Even though he is older and under house arrest in Rome he encourages his readers to trust that he Christ is with them in their worries.
These are timely reminders as we hear about yet another, perhaps more virulent wave of the Coronavirus, and many of us wait for our vaccinations. It would be imprudent, even foolhardy to take a "what, me worry?' approach to imminent threats. Yet we want to have the confidence that "in life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us, we are not alone ."
Now, I better get going before I start worrying about getting to the church on time...
5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.
6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.