Fearless Faith: I Am Going To Be Ok.
This sermon series is called Fearless Faith,
and we’re exploring through different lenses
why our Holy Scriptures keep telling us
not to fear
and particularly how we are prone
to struggle with that encouragement.
Last week we talked about love
and about how Love is, at the root of it,
an OPENING of the heart
to the care and the concern
and the wellbeing and the freedom of another.
We talked about how love is all about risk
and about how risk is scary
but we’re called to accept that risk
for the sake of those we love
like God does for each one of us.
Last week was all about those people we love
This week we’re going to look at ourselves,
and our fears and our anxieties about our own wellbeing.
And then we’ll explore
other realities of life that make all of this so complicated.
For now, in addition to the beautiful words of the twenty-third Psalm
we have for our reflection this passage from the Gospel of Matthew
where Jesus is teaching about worry.
I invite you to open your heart and your mind
to this reading of God’s word:
‘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?
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?
And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?
And why do you worry about clothing?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;
they neither toil nor spin,
yet I tell you,
even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.
But 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?
Therefore do not worry,
saying, “What will we eat?”
or “What will we drink?”
or “What will we wear?”
For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things;
and indeed your heavenly Father knows
that you need all these things.
But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
‘So do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.
Today’s trouble is enough for today.
And may God bless to us our reading
and our understanding
and our applying of these words, to the way we live. Amen.
If you grew up in this country
anytime after 1952,
and especially if you were a boy,
you may remember reading Mad Magazine.
The magazine was certainly sarcastic, and irreverent.
It could be crude, and slightly risqué,
certainly by the standards of a few decades ago.
On the cover of almost every issue, there would be a picture
of Alfred E. Neuman, the mascot of the magazine. [Read more…]