Scripture:Jesus said to his disciples, “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? Your Father knows that you need food and clothing. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. (Luke 12:25-26, 30-31)
Reflection: The author of Luke’s gospel uses some of the same material that the author of Matthew’s gospel uses. Biblical scholars refer to this as Q (from the German word quelle, meaning “source”). The author of Luke’s gospel polishes the sayings, while the author of Matthew’s gospel inserts his own unique theme – righteousness – into the sayings of Jesus.
The Lukan Jesus asks his hearers if they can add an hour to their lives, and they have to answer that they cannot. Thus, if they cannot do such a small thing as add an hour to their day, why worry about food and clothing. The ravens don’t worry about such things. The wildflowers do not worry about such things. God feeds the ravens, and God clothes the fields with the wildflowers. The best that people can do is trust the Father, who knows that they need food and clothing.
Luke wants his readers to see the big picture of the kingdom of God. If a person grasps the understanding that God is in charge, there is no place for worry, which bogs one down here and now. Instead of spending energy on seeking food and clothing, it is better to spend it striving for God’s kingdom, and God, who takes great pleasure in giving his kingdom to people, will provide all the food and clothing they need. God can even add an hour to one’s life!
Freedom from worry characterizes a spirituality of mission.
Journal/Meditation: About what have you ceased to worry? How did God provide for you?
Prayer: Father, I cannot add a single hour to my life through worry, but I can trust you to provide for all my needs. As I strive for your kingdom, grant me the perseverance of Jesus, who is Lord, forever and ever. Amen.