27 February 2011Matthew 6:25-34
"So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today." (v. 34)
This reading comes from the chapters in Matthew's Gospel that
are referred to as "The Sermon on the Mount" (the first of five
teaching blocks in Matthew). In fact, Matthew's Gospel has been
characterised very much as a 'teaching Gospel'. But the Sermon on
the Mount is not just one sermon given at one time, the listeners
would have given up and gone home if they had had to listen to all
of this in one sitting. What we have here is a collection of Jesus'
teachings and particularly his instructions to his disciples, both
the inner circle of 12 whose names we know (Matthew 10:2-4) and the wider group of people
who followed him. These chapters are a distillation of those
teachings which Jesus considered most important.
This particular passage is urging those who would be disciples not to allow anxiety to rule their lives. Jesus is not saying that people shouldn't plan ahead and exercise ordinary, common-sense prudent foresight; rather that people should have faith and confidence that the God who gave us life will look after us. Worry and anxiety about things we cannot control are an indication of a lack of faith in God. Jesus is urging his followers to live in the present, to learn to live a day at a time and make the most of the present moment.
What sorts of worries most often pre-occupy your mind?
What might you be able to do to stop you worrying about at least one of them?
Despite all the difficulties that Jesus faced he was basically a happy person who lived in the present moment. To what extent are you a happy person? What sort of things make you most happy?