Saturday 23 February 2019

Bible Book:

'And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?' (v. 27)

Matthew 6:25-34 Saturday 23 February 2019

Psalm: Psalm 81


Worry is so easy! Ask me to worry about something, I can easily oblige. Winston Churchill once wrote of a friend who, on his deathbed, said that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened. That is insightful, because it suggests that most worry is pointless. We can choose not to worry, in fact Jesus tells us firmly not to – let tomorrow worry for itself! That doesn’t mean Jesus wants us to deny our genuine needs, in fact previously (v. 11), he has encouraged us to pray for what we need as an essential part of our praying. We need to know that God knows what we really need, so worry really is pointless.

I love the analogy of the birds – as I write four varieties of songbirds have been feeding in my garden. None of them seems in the slightest distress, although I admit I’m no expert in bird psychology. They appear to be free to thrive, despite the weather today being bleak, wet and cold. It’s good to know that God cares for them so much.

In the society of the time, perhaps even more than now, economic contribution was the measure of worth. But birds don’t grow crops and pay taxes at all, so what worth are they? The surprise is that God cares for them regardless. So the human race need not worry, we are those God created as his own people – he has committed himself to our well-being.

The birds remind us of this: God’s love doesn’t depend on what we do, what we contribute, how useful we are. This was a revolutionary idea in the society of Jesus’ day, and even more so now. Jesus came to reach out to the outcasts, the marginalised, the poor – those with no obvious contribution to make. That is our task too, in a world becoming increasingly divided, intolerant and obsessed by wealth and status – to continually widen the circle of welcome so that all can know the unconditional love of God.



To Ponder:

  • Spend some time with today’s psalm (Psalm 81), praising God for providing for your needs and praying for strength not to worry.
  • What will help you to be honest with God about your needs, and to avoid worrying about things you can’t change?
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