EP: Psalm 68:1-20; 2Kings 2:1-15; Revelation 5:1-14
We are nearing the completion of the 50 days of Easter, as tomorrow marks the Ascension and the turning of the corner for the last few days of this season. Our MP readings are far different in nature and focus than our EP readings. This reflection, as I write it Wednesday morning, is going to focus on our MP reading from Luke.
Jesus is talking to those who follow him about our outlook on life, on what we should be focused on as important. These words are as true today as they were when they were first spoken and later set down in writing. Jesus knows us, knows our human nature and our propensity toward worry and our desire for fine things. We do not have to look far in life, whether our own closet and pantry, or those near and dear to us, to hear these truths: For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.......And how can worrying add a single hour to your span of life?
Hard truths to hear, for I do like nice clothes. I can no longer afford the designer labels, but that doesn't mean I don't desire those wonderful shoes by xxx. And I do like good food, prepared well, and can (and do) find myself worrying about those things. But I don't think Jesus is saying we should ignore those desires, those wants, but to keep them in perspective. They should not control our lives, our expectations. They should not be the focus of what we do with our abundance, no matter how small or large that abundance may be by cultural standards.
Jesus is pointing us towards a different way of spinning through this world. He says: strive for God's kingdom first, and these things will be given to you as well. These things being, food, drink, clothing that we need to survive. The creation of the kingdom, living into that image of the kingdom, is to be our focus, and God will find us and provide for us. Find and provide by way of our learning and understanding the weight of importance associated with striving for the kingdom as compared to the desires and yearning for fine clothing and find food.
It is all about perspective as we enter the final days of the Easter Season.
Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: First Blooms, 2011, jfd+