16 May 2012Luke 12:22-31
"For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well." (vv. 30-31)
Along with food and money, I suspect that fashion is of equal
attraction to modern life. But I can't help thinking what a source
of worry that must be. The designers and chefs have a reputation to
maintain and develop, and those who are the consumers have an
income to protect in order to afford these things as well as their
personal status in society to safeguard.
The same could be said of city investment bankers. Having set themselves up as the financial answer to everyone's problems, what levels of anxiety they must live in as those with so much money to look after.
Today's passage uses the metaphor of clothing to convey a message not about what we might look like but about our levels of anxiety. If we are confident in ourselves, not outrageously so, but comfortable about our own identity, then we are not wasting so much time, money and effort worrying about things that will not make a positive difference in our lives. The big deal today may crash tomorrow and today's designer frock will be destined for the bin before the week is out. These things come and go like the weather which will wash away or dry up within a few hours what we have spent days developing.
So concentrate on the things that contribute long term to the quality of our life, the lives of those around us as well as the lives of people all over the world. If we can lead lives that hold integrity as the most important quality, and which are honest and trustworthy then such needs as having to accrue money and fashion goods and fashionable food, will diminish because we will see them as the waste of our human purpose. As Isaac Watts so simply puts it in his hymn, "Have faith in God my heart, trust and be unafraid".
Trusting God and letting go of the things society upholds can threaten our sense of security. How do you think our church communities can support us to help us 'let go'?
Many migrant workers are lured to West London by the dream of a better world. But they discover the hard reality that though life was hard back home, it was better than that to which they have come. How can we lead our lives that better reflect what we really are and really have?