All this month we have been wrestling with ‘Holy Endings’, learning how to let go of something with love and dignity. Not to run away from things, but to place them down gently and move on.
There are all sorts of endings. There are terrible things we know must end, bad habits that are healthy to leave behind, good things that have become bad, great things that have run their course, fantastic things which have to end so something new can begin, and there are everyday innocuous things we may need to give up because of the impact they have on others.
Taking this time of year as a time to take an inventory of our lifestyle choices, our relationships, our priorities, our ethical decisions, is a worthwhile process. It is important to consider our lives, to think carefully about what we might need to stop or let go of - but we can also get hung up on this. We are not called to be obsessive puritans. It’s about finding a healthy way of living with one another, not causing ourselves and others more anxiety. Our endings are meant to be Holy, blessed, not frantic or paranoid.
In the fantastic reading for today, we are urged time and again to never make a mistake, to get everything right, and to fret constantly…except we aren’t… Listening to some Christians you can imagine that that is what Jesus was saying, but it isn’t at all…
Jesus tells us time and again - not to worry! We get a glimpse of heavenly empathy when Jesus says in verse 32 - God gets it. Our Father knows we need to eat and dress ourselves, knows that we have practical concerns, but wants us not to put these things first, but instead to strive for the kingdom - God’s project of renewal - to take it from there.
Give us perspective,
give us hope,
give us rest.
25 ‘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? 26 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? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 ‘So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.