“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?” Matthew 6:25 NRSV
Do not worry. Easy said, hard to accomplish. I have shared this advice with persons many times over the years. From folks caught in a bad relationship situation, or an awful illness, to a tragic accident, to not worry and remain calm is a real gift. It seems we all worry at times. It is how we are wired for life.
This passage from Matthew comes to us toward the end of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Now please take a second closer look at the text. Christ tells the people to not worry about what they will eat and what they will wear for clothes. Jesus says nothing about missed house payments or flat tires. Jesus say nothing about running late into work or failing to get our assignments completed. It seems the dog needing shots and the Internet fading while the stove is boiling over in the midst of a leaking roof is just not that big of a deal. First things first.
Jesus tells us not to worry about food and clothing. Those two are pretty high up on the list of essential human needs. And he picks these two, which we all take for granted in this society, as a way of saying, “If you do not have even these basic needs covered, relax I have got this for you. And if you do have these two covered then you should have no real worries at all.” Relax people and do not worry. This is God who created the world and calms the storms. Calm down.
This passage is also a go ticket for the church who serves as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ for the world. We must be out and about providing clothing and food, taking care of the basic stuff for people. But not just some people but any person at all who shows up without food and clothing. Boom, the church should spring into action and heal the situation.
Should the church also fix the internet, the dog, the flat tire, or the leaking roof? Perhaps, but first things first. Food and clothing should be free if needed, or almost free. Let’s keep the children fed and warm with clothes on the backs of our neighbors and friends, even especially the strangers in our midst. But do not worry. Never let worry become your partner.