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? 26Look 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? 27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30But 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? 31Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But 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.”
We hardly need to say more, but we need to hear it again. Overexposure to the news might make it seem like the problems of the day are entirely unmanageable, as if those problems needed us to solve them. Most of us have the ability to stay comfortably at home, well-fed, working from a laptop, knowing that the health insurance card in our wallet gives us access to the best treatment we could possibly hope for. Loved ones across the country are just a phone call away. It has been a cool and pleasant week. Why, then, are we still so anxious? What are we worried about?
It’s reasonable to be worried, at least in the general sense. A pandemic rages with no end in sight. We worry about the sick, or about all those people in line at the food bank. We worry about the cashier at the grocery store and the person who delivers our mail. We worry that things will never be the same. The world is not as it should be. But it has always been this way. Why does Jesus seem so calm? Why does he tell us to not to worry?
Jesus tells us not to worry because he knows that there are things worse than death—that we can worry in such a way that makes it seem like we have lost God or that God is absent. The reason we don’t worry is trust that God in Jesus Christ has acted decisively on our behalf, making a way in death, clothing us in glory beyond our imagination. The world is not as it should be—and it is the world God died to save. It is not our place to worry about the world because the world belongs to God. It is not our place to worry about ourselves because we have what we need. Maybe we can worry about others and what they have, which may just be what Jesus meant when he said to strive for the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Then we’ll have all we need: what God wants for us: a life.
God, we praise you, for you have given us all that we need—shelter and food, companionship and love. Above all you have given us your Son, and the life that does not die. Be with us in your Spirit: to give comfort in our anxiety, encouragement in our doubt, direction in our work, all that we need to follow in the way of your kingdom, and so to find our life in you. We pray in Jesus Christ. Amen.