For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?…But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:21, 27, 33-34
Throughout the world, we are experiencing a level of disruption to which we are unaccustomed. People’s daily, comfortable routines are broken. Going to work each day is an uncertainty. Long planned vacations have been canceled. All of us are being asked to cut ourselves off from gatherings and relationships.
This lack of comfort and security is causing mass anxiety, panic, and worry. People are hoarding basic supplies. Market shelves have been cleared of food and other essentials. So many are trying to preserve their sense of security and independence. Sadly, this reaction is just as common in those who follow Jesus as those who do not.
Unfortunately, security in this world is not promised by God. Despite its best attempts, humanity’s efforts to create a utopian kingdom without God are precarious at best. The COVID-19 virus and its spread serve to remind all of us that life is fragile and not to be taken for granted. Hope is not found in good health, predictability of growing economies, or
Hope is found in the kingdom of God.
It is this Kingdom to which Jesus continually directed the eyes of his followers. If you have made a claim to follow Jesus, then you are a citizen of this Kingdom. You are under the rule and reign of God. Therein lies your hope for your life.
If you have been a follower of Jesus’ way for any length of time, then you know that God uses disruption in our lives to draw our attention to him. Comfort and security found in the world and its systems will always fail. In God’s kingdom we are free of that insecurity.
In the time of the early Church, followers were known for their charity and hospitality in times of cultural crisis. They took care of each other, cared for orphans, and ministered to the sick. They were light in dark times.
Rather than hoarding and posting memes of worry on social media, this disruption of the world’s predictability is a time of opportunity for the Church. First we should all be making sure that none in our church communities have need. Share your toilet paper and hand sanitizer! If you say you love God, then you should be demonstrating that love to your brothers and sisters.
Beyond that, our calm and generosity that we draw from the security of the kingdom of God ought to be noticed within the world. God still rules the KIngdom of our true citizenship. Despite our 401Ks evaporating, our true treasure in heaven is secure.
By worrying we accomplish nothing but showing that our hope is in something else.
So, questions to consider: if you are a follower of Jesus consumed with worry or anxiety, what is its source? What does this worry/anxiety tell you about your trust in God? To whom in your life can you turn to remind you of your security in the kingdom of God? What difference can your calm response make in the lives of those around you?
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