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 … For it is the peoples of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.’ (Luke 12:22, 30-31)
I chose this passage because it speaks so much to the bundle of fears, hopes and desires we each grapple with, and need to come back to time and time again. This passage has been a game changer for Greg and I, and I am both grateful for it and struggle with it at various points in my life. Just before this passage there are contrasting stories. First, of a man who kept building bigger and bigger barns for himself, and who was ever more focused on securing his own wealth at the expense of and in the absence of others, which is contrasted with a story of the birds of the field who are provided for by God.
On my good days, I wake up glad to put my efforts into this later vision—of towns of people, plants and animals living with enough to meet their needs, caring for each other, trusting in God and flourishing in doing so. On other days I struggle—I would like to have a bigger paddock and a nice barn! I wonder whether Greg and I will have what we need when we are older and I wonder if I am giving our kids enough. I look at what others around us are buying/doing/travelling etc.—you might be able to imagine my train of thought.
This passage goes on to say in some kind of words, ‘and all these things shall be added unto you.’ In a world where some people don’t have enough to survive, and where the amount we consume and waste is wreaking havoc on our climate, I find it hard to trust this assurance. Yet I believe more fully than ever that putting this vision first is the only way to enable life. And I am so aware of my need to be connected to a body of faith when I think about this passage. For courage, for reminding and for shared work and ultimately to stay close to Christ who continually invites me back to love and steadies my nerves and fears.