Day 8: Matthew 6:19-34
If we lived by the values of the gospel as outlined in the Lord’s Prayer, our trust in God would be so complete that we would not worry about our daily sustenance. Yet we tend not to live like that— we worry about tomorrow and the future, both for ourselves and for our children. We make plans for that future, both short- and long-term, in all kinds of ways. Yet did not Jesus in the parable of the talents blame the person who simply buried his talent in the ground for not thinking ahead of how he might use it? Perhaps what Jesus is warning us against in this section of the Sermon on the Mount is not so much prudent planning for the future but a total preoccupation with it— worrying about it to such an extent that it takes over our lives, which is ultimately a failure to trust in God. The man who built bigger barns for his crops is condemned, not so much for providing for the future, but for being so taken up with it that he could think of nothing else. Over-anxiety and preoccupation about the future is something that hinders the coming of God’s rule and kingdom because in the end, it is centered on self and not on God.
Do you think that it is preoccupation with rather than prudence about planning for the future that is the thrust of Jesus’ message? When has prudence given way to preoccupation in your life? How might you find balance?
Lord, help us to entrust ourselves, all that we have and all that we are, to your service. And, we pray, free us from anxiety. Amen.The Most Rev. Barry MorganArchbishop of WalesCardiff, Wales
Crafton, Barbara Cawthorne. A Journey With Matthew: The 50 Day Bible Challenge . Forward Movement. Kindle Edition.