Lent Day 3: Do Not Be Anxious
Matthew 6:25-27 ESV
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look 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? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
With so many things to be anxious about in the world, and no way to really make any of these events stop on our own, maybe we should take a new approach to life, not in the absence of the problems that plague us, but in the midst of them. COVID, climate change, racial crisis, political confusion and the classroom crisis for our kids is not going away tomorrow. So how we do we navigate this new terrain? Jesus tells us that being anxious will not add to our lives. In point of fact we know, or should I say, I know from personal experience it actually takes away life.
Proverbs 14:30 NASB
30 A tranquil heart is life to the body, But passion is rottenness to the bones.
Brueggemann reminds us that, “the usual way of being in the world is anxiety, of being pressed and harried and worried, and that in turn leads to a stance of defensiveness and fear and a determination to keep what we have. Anxiety that believes that we best get what we can and keep what we got snowballs on us, and we get caught up in it and don’t know it’s happening.”
However, there is an alternative.
Matthew 6:33 ESV
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
We should move away from ourselves to helping others. As we seek his kingdom and the concerns of others our service to them, also serves to help us. We begin to see the vastness of the needs in God’s kingdom as we lose ourselves in caring for others. We are being invited today to love in a much larger world, to serve someone and something bigger and more glorious than ourselves. Let’s pray with Brueggemann:
“Free us, Lord, from our obsession with ourselves long enough to care for others; to be so concerned about the well-being of the human community that we don’t have to worry about our place, our church, our class, our values, our vested interests. Help us to know the joy and freedom of putting our trust in you. Amen”