Posts Tagged "Thanksgiving"

Sermon November 22: Better Things to Worry About

Posted by on Feb 3, 2016 in Sunday Message KB | Comments Off on Sermon November 22: Better Things to Worry About Faith United Methodist Church November 22, 2015 Soul Food Series: Thanksgiving Freedom Rev. Kristabeth E. Atwood Scripture: Matthew 6:25-33, Psalm 16 Response to the Word: (Bulletin) Holy One, you restore us and turn our tears into shouts of joy. We receive your word in faith and truth. Amen. Sermon: Better Things to Worry About! Okay, Jesus, you got me! There is no sense in my even trying to argue. I’m a worrier, pure and simple. I worry about everything, big or small, important or inconsequential. If there’s a way to worry about it, I will figure out how. But I have a feeling that I’m probably not the only one in the room who feels a little needled by the Gospel this morning. Am I right? Any other worriers out there? I’m probably a hopeless case, though. I come from a family of worriers. We worry not just about what might happen today or tomorrow, but what might happen two months from now and a year after that. The reasoning ~ if you can call it that ~ is that if you worry far enough in advance, at least you won’t run out of time. And we all know that old proverb that if you worry about something it won’t happen. So worry is a preventative measure. But there are studies out there telling us that worry isn’t good for us, right? High blood pressure. Insomnia. Worry keeps us up a night. It wears us down. It drains our creativity and damages our bodies. Maybe Jesus knew what he was talking about when he said, “…do not worry about your life…” But still, it’s one thing to know we shouldn’t worry, but quite another to quit worrying. Knowing me, I’d worry about how I shouldn’t be worrying… and, I don’t know about you, but I have better things to worry about than that. As one bumper sticker says, “So much to worry about, so little time.” Yet here, in the middle of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus challenges us, “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?” My first reaction is to say, “You know, that all sounds good, but the birds of the air don’t have student loans or cars breaking down or kids going into college. The lilies of the field don’t have medical bills or home repair.” But Jesus doesn’t stop there. He continues on saying, “But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” “…all these things will be given to you as well.” Is that true? Do you think that it’s really true? That all these things, all these things that comprise so much of our worries, will be given to us as well? And if it is true, what would it mean to strive first for the kingdom of God? Just to be clear, I don’t think that Jesus was implying that if we believe a certain thing or say a certain prayer we will get whatever we want. That’s the message of the Prosperity Gospel, which I believe is a modern-day heresy. In my understanding of the Gospel of Christ, riches do not equal blessing and need does not equal punishment. Striving for the kingdom of God will not get us a new HD TV or a Lexus. But I do believe that striving for the kingdom will get us something, something even better. As Eugene Peterson...

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