Luke 12: 22 – 34 Do not worry
Then Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: they do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
‘Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you – you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’
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For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
This sentence is the key to the whole passage.
For the last four months, I’ve been trying to walk at least 10,000 paces every day. (I understand from experts that this is the best single action I can take to boost my immune system against the risk of Covid 19). It’s a noticeable commitment of time and energy, and occupies nearly two hours every day.
What do I think about as I walk?
Work on my novel.
Whether we need to change the car.
How I am going to cook skate wings.
Whether my sister and I need to be urging our mother towards sheltered accommodation.
What I haven’t been doing until recently is thinking about God. I’m starting to realise that this is a clue that my treasure is not in heaven; it’s right here in this life. And at 69 however many precautions I take, against Covid 19 or anything else, I probably don’t have much of this life left.
And now, as I re-read what I’ve written, all I see is “I” and “my”; how revealing is that? That is the power of scripture; it shows us starkly the difference between God’s expectations of us and our response.
Jesus offers advice to help us make sure we have treasure in heaven.
First, we can stop worrying. God will provide all we need. Our Father knows we need food and drink and clothing, and if we are seeking his kingdom he will provide them.
Second, we can give to the poor – the more generously the better. If we really want treasure in heaven, we should be selling our possessions and giving away the proceeds.
This takes trust. It takes faith. God wants us to trust him. He wants us to enjoy a relationship with him, through Jesus. The essence of a relationship is that it is between individuals, and he approaches each one of us over and over again with the offer of his love. And, as Jesus said:
“And how much more valuable you are than birds!”
Thank you, Jesus, for your friendship.
Thank you for your love. Please help me to be more mindful of your presence, and more generous to those who need my help.
In Jesus name, Amen.