A captive of worry
Luke 12: 22 - 34
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat;
about your body, what you will wear.”
The other day we considered being captives to minutiae and I have to say that in over twenty five years of ministry there has been a lot of minutiae. I’m not saying that vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers and china cups are unimportant, but there is a danger that discussions about such things can dominate a meeting. As a result, I have always favoured the Kirk Session dealing with the spiritual matters and the Congregational Board the temporal matters (fabric and finance) to ensure that the spiritual doesn’t become overshadowed by the material.
Jesus follows his teaching with an encouragement not to worry. We are very often captives of worry and much of that worry can be over material matters. There are also other worries that are almost phantoms of our own making: ones we often make in the midst of the darkest of nights when we’re tired and weary and have little or no strength of our own. There are some of us who worry when we have no worries and I would confess to being in that category at times!
Jesus is not saying that the material is unimportant which in life and in church life, as I have suggested earlier in these studies, is important to support life and congregational life. He is , however, encouraging us to refocus and see what is key to life and life in all its fullness and this is a life that focuses on the spiritual. It is a life that focuses on our relationship with God in and through Jesus Christ. It is a life that encourages us to seek the things of God above all else in life: seeking first his kingdom. This is a call to live as kingdom people who are moulded an inspired, not by earthly concerns, but by the very kingdom of Go. The kingdom of God is founded on values that reflect those of God cursing us to, not only seek his kingdom, but also the good of all people.
This doesn’t magic away the worries or what is behind them, but it gets them into perspective. This kind of focus also assures us that our lives and the life of the world are in the hands of our sovereign God. Seek him and seek his kingdom and see and know the difference.
- What kind of priorities are high up on your agenda? What worries you most in life? How might what you have read in this passage help release the burden?
As I catch a glimpse of your word,
focus my eyes on you . . .
turn my life round to you . . .
make me a captive, not of the world, but of you and your love
to set my troubled heart at rest.