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Friday, June 19, 2015

Today’s Reading | Luke 12:22–34

He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NRSV)

Reflection
Clarence Jordan, who founded Koininia Farms in Georgia, wrote his own translation of the gospels. For Luke 12:32–34 he wrote, “Stop being so scared, my little flock. Your Father has decided to make you responsible for the Movement. Sell what you own and give it with no strings attached. Make yourselves wallets that don’t wear out, an unsurpassed spiritual treasure which thieves don’t plunder, nor worms consume. For your treasure and your heart are wrapped together.”

What is your heart wrapped around? Is it something that can be lost or worn out, possessed or stolen? If so, that is indeed cause for being scared. But if your heart is not centered on material resources and instead is wrapped with God’s grace, then you can be at peace. You contain a treasure that no one can destroy or take away from you. That treasure is God’s abiding love. It defines who you are as a beloved child of God. It claims that in life and in death you belong to God. It gives you your true Home. Such is the source of freedom that allows you to do something as radical as sell what you own and be generous towards others.

God liberates us from our fruitless attempts to protect ourselves from insecurity. Thomas Merton wrote, “We don’t detach ourselves from things in order to attach ourselves to God, but rather we become detached from ourselves in order to see and use all things in and for God.”

Prayer
Merciful God, wash away my anxiety. Deliver me from chasing empty promises and clinging to false security. Turn my heart towards you, so I may sing your praise, “God whose giving knows no ending, from your rich and endless store.” Amen.

(Prayer quote from Robert Edwards’ hymn “God Whose Giving Knows No Ending” )

Reflection written by Victoria G. Curtiss, Associate Pastor for Mission

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