This past month our gospel lessons have come straight from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. I imagine Jesus standing on top of a small ridge as the crowd spread out below him in a bowl to hear him talk.
The crowd came looking for something or someone to make them and their world right. The world was right once. Back along time ago. God made it right and beautiful and good. Eden is back there in our dreams and in our often unspoken hopes. It is back somewhere in our imaginations: a place and a time where we knew God's goodness and provision and nothing less.
Jesus spoke a word that leaves me unsettled. Deep in my heart I don't always trust God. Deep in my heart I don't always believe that God will provide if I just trust.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:25-27 NIVThe people of Jesus day, and of our day, have seen some of the worst that this world has to offer: poverty, sickness, shame, sin, guilt, despair. They had seen it and lived in it. We know it too: in our lives and families, in our work and homes. We know full well what it is like to be fallen people in need of a savior. The people of Jesus day and the people of our day have been hurt and and hurt others. And Jesus came into the world healing and teaching from a heart of love 2000 years ago. And He told people then and us today very simply to trust in God rather worry.
Jesus came to earth to transform us and to change us now and in eternity. Jesus came not for those who deserved to be loved but for those who found themselves to be the most unhappy and the most unlovable. He came for those who have twisted love and hurt others through their actions whether intended or unintended.
Faith in God is about today and tomorrow. It's about trusting that God is at work today for us and with us and trusting that tomorrow is in his hands. Faith means taking very seriously the word and the promise that Jesus came to make all things new both today and tomorrow. He came to die himself in order that those who believe might some day rise up with him on the last day.