As we continue our journey through Lent and consider, “What shall we do?,” we come to Matthew’s Gospel and the well known passage where Jesus tells all those who are gathered around him not to worry about what they will eat or what they will wear. “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.” He points to the birds and the lilies and talks about how God cares for them even though they do not toil.
I get it. God has provided for humanity through creation and maybe if we had gone the agrarian route and not polluted our fields and streams or created plastics that kill birds en masse we could live a kind of utopian, worry free, close to the land, wild and free backpacking kind of dream. Right?
But since that didn’t happen and its 2017 and clothes are manufactured and shipped through supply chains that stretch the globe and most of us do not now how to grow our own food, nor do we have the land access it would take to do so…this passage must be obsolete, like the one in deuteronomy that talks about how to deal with mildew. That was for a different time.
Our world and our lives are full of demands and full of worry. Our justice work has high stakes. How can we not worry about those suffering from injustice? Doesn’t worry come with responsibility? So how are we to not worry? Well, I don’t exactly know but I’m reflecting on how we might resist the worry patterns and build resilience through recognizing God’s faithfulness and continued presence with us, right here in 2017, in the world we’ve made, polluted and complicated and all.
Maybe Jesus pointing out the birds and lilies, about which he said, “Even Solomon in all his splendor was not clothed as one of these,” was actually pointing out beauty as a demonstration of God’s presence and faithfulness.
How much beauty is in your life? Do you create more beauty in the world? Beauty is definitely wrapped up in God’s economy of love and justice. Let’s press into these questions this week as we continue to consider, “What shall we do?”