The lectionary gospel assigned for Thanksgiving Day is part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:
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? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?…Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin…But strive first for the kingdom of God and [God’s] righteousness… Matthew 6:25-33
It’s hard to imagine a life without worry, isn’t it? Most people I know (myself included) seem to be consumed by it – what to eat, what to wear, our bodies, work, finances, relationships, health, children, aging, the “what-ifs” even when the worst case scenarios aren’t very likely. We are consumers, we love things, image, and comfort. And there is always a sense that what we already have is never quite enough. We live in a culture in which we are constantly bombarded by advertisements promising something better or more beautiful. It’s easy to get caught up; trapped.
As we head into the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, may we hear these words of Jesus as an invitation to consider our true value and the true value of others. May we strive to free ourselves of so much worry, be thankful for the abundance already at hand including people to love and who love us, and may we determine to be agents of transforming love in which God’s desire to meet the needs of all might be met through us.
It will be a challenge, I know, but I cannot think of better work to be doing over these next few weeks. Can you?
Grace and peace,