Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
Matthew 6:25-34 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Do Not Worry
25 “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? 26 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? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 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? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
It goes without saying that a lot of people are feeling a lot of anxiety right now. There are so many reasons to feel anxious—for yourself, your loved ones, for our community, our nation, and our world—and how we are going to get through this time.
It also goes without saying that anxiety is just a part of being human in normal times. So much of life is beyond our control and when the illusions of control are shattered, we become anxious. This is certainly such a time.
So, what does Jesus have to say about anxiety? “Don’t worry about your life.” (Matthew 6:25) Is that possible? It seems like he might as well say, “Don’t be human.” After all, psychologists tell us that anxiety is central to human existence. In fact, anxiety can lead us to growing where we need to grow, to changing where we need to change, and ultimately to greater maturity.
So, what does Jesus mean? When we look at the Greek word translated “worry” here in the text, it connotes something more than just day-to-day worries. The Greek word used here, merimnáō, means “to worry” or “to be anxious.” It is used five times in this passage alone, all in a negative manner. The root of the word is another Greek verb, merízō, which means “to divide; to separate into parts; to cut into pieces; to divide into parties, i.e. be split into factions.” The anxiety Jesus is talking about is the kind of anxiety that cuts us to pieces, that is destructive of the trust and hope we have in our dependable, gracious God.
You could say that what Jesus is talking about is toxic worry. Jesus is calling us away from that kind of worry to trusting God and living one day at a time.
There is a lot of theology woven into hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “Be Still My Soul”. I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul.
1 Be still, my soul! for God is on your side;
bear patiently the cross of grief or pain:
leave to your God to order and provide,
who through all changes faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul! your best, your heav’nly Friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
2 Be still, my soul! for God will undertake
to guide the future surely as the past.
Your hope, your confidence, let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be clear at last.
Be still, my soul! the waves and winds still know
the voice that calmed their fury long ago.
3 Be still, my soul! the hour is hastening on
when we shall be forever in God’s peace;
when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
love’s joys restored, our strivings all shall cease.
Be still my soul! when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster
Here’s more about this passage of scripture via Upper Room devotionals:
HOMETOWN MISSION FIELD
Offering to pray with neighbors is a simple way to demonstrate God’s love.