Jesus said, “Do not worry, about your life…,” (Matt 6:25). He was not talking about having concerns for keeping an appointment, or running errands, but worries that cause anxiety, and having apprehensions about the future.
Rabbis were trained in the art of the question, so in the next sentence we see the rabbi in Jesus, for He asked this question, “Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” The answer is yes, of course it is. The question is designed to cause you to think, “If God has given me life and a body, certainly will He not give me food and clothing.” If that is your thought, you have taken the first step in overcoming worry.
Jesus gave three reasons why we can trust God to provide: The birds, the lilies and the grass. The birds don’t sow, yet God feeds them. The lilies have more splendor than Solomon. The grass is here today and gone tomorrow. Arguing from the lesser to the greater Jesus asks, “Are you not much more valuable than they” (26)?
How does one not worry? Follow Jesus directive, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,” (33). The word “seek” means to make the Kingdom of Heaven the center of one’s daily priorities. Draw on God for your daily needs, and in so doing your will find no need to worry, for your needs will be supplied.
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is His manifesto. His public declaration of policies and principles of the kingdom of Heaven, which He is King of. His manifesto teaches that those who are in his kingdom are to change the dynamics in situations: Go the extra mile, turn the cheek, give the cloak, and give to those who ask.
When it comes to implementing the manifesto Christians often find the words of Isaiah ringing true, “The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you,” (28:20). But Jesus is the king of the kingdom, so why would we think this way? I believe the source of that thinking comes from being a check the boxes Christian.
When we were so many days old someone sprinkled water on us. When we were the appropriate age we were confirmed. We went to church every Sunday, and gave money. We have checked all the boxes and therefore are a Christian; we have done everything to escape God’s anger. Yet the bed is too short, the blanket too narrow.
The problem is that these boxes do not constitute a bed on which we can rest, for it is finding morality in our own works. Unless our life is crowned with the highest thing, Jesus, then the bed will always be too short, and the blanket too narrow.
3030 W. Van Buren, is an unlikely place for a church. In the day it was a motor court, now it’s a large tent open at both ends. Under the tent are three rows of tables that are broken, and stained. The table’s chairs are no better, for no two are alike. At one end is the pulpit, often in the sun, and the other end there is a constant stream of wandering people. Who goes to this unlikely church? The homeless go there.
How does one serve such an unlikely church? First you bring music, for the homeless have restless souls, and music soothes their restlessness. You bring the Word, Jesus is the Christ, to feed their souls. You bring clothing, for the clothes they have don’t last long on the streets. You bring food to feed their bodies. It is at the serving line where their desperation is most visible, for there are always elbows. Who knows when they last ate, or when they will eat again?
3030 W. Van Buren is an unlikely place for a church, but it is where Christ is preached, souls are ministered to, shelter is given, bodies are fed, and people find Jesus. Yes it is unlikely place, but it is Christ’s church, and that is why we were there.
His Word Goes Forward,