|CONSIDER THE LILIES OF THE FI ELD: A MEDITATION
Do Not Worry
Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?"
Remember a time when you felt hungry, your stomach grumbled and you felt the pangs of hunger. Remember a time when the cupboards in your kitchen were bare or the possibilities for a meal from your refrigerator were bleak. How long was it before you were able to have a meal that filled you, satisfied you and strengthened you?
Did you hear Jesus saying to you?: "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat."
Remember a time when you were sick, in the hospital or recovering from a fall or surgery. Imagine the complex, wondrous inner-workings of your body as you recovered and regained movement, strength, health, and healing.
Did you hear Jesus saying to you?: "Do not worry about your life or about your body."
Remember a time when you were invited to a special occasion, maybe it was a wedding, a banquet, or a party, as you looked in your closet, you wondered, "What am I going to wear?" Perhaps you even thought to yourself, "I have nothing to wear to this occasion." Perhaps you did not have the extra money to buy a new outfit and you thought to yourself, "I wish I could buy something new."
Did you hear Jesus saying to you?: "Do not worry about your life or about what you will wear."
Remember a time in the midst of winter when you saw birds pecking through the melted snow and ice searching for seeds or worms. What did you see when you looked at them? Have you ever wondered if they complain to God, if they worry about their livelihood?
Did you hear Jesus saying to you?: "Consider the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?"
There are times when we worry, when we fret, when we feel like the sky is falling, or we are just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Next time you find yourselves worrying about something or experiencing a sense of dread about the uncommon, consider doing the follow.
Stop and take a deep breath.
This breath is a gift from God.
Take a moment to think about what you had to eat that day.
The food and drink is a fulfillment of God's promise to give you daily bread.
The bread and wine at communion reminds us that God satisfies not only our physical hunger, but also our spiritual hunger.
Take a walk outside or simply look out a window.
See the birds of the air.
If God provides for the smallest of God's creatures, certainly God will provide for you too.
Next time you are worrying or fretting about something, quiet your mind and heart for a moment and listen for the voice of Jesus, for he is saying to you...
Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all of his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and is gone tomorrow, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
Blessings, Rev. Shana Johnson, Conference Minister