Devotion. May 5, 2020
Scripture: Read Matthew 6.25-34
Do you worry? I do. Recently I have worried about the Lily of the Valley flowers in our yard. After my Aunt June died a number of years ago and before her house was sold, I transplanted some of her flowers into our yard. They are supposed to come up out of the ground in early Spring. They are supposed to be uncontrollable ‘like weeds.’ They are supposed to be ‘hearty,’ which means nobody or anything can kill them. This Spring, my Aunt June’s Lily of the Valley flowers were not showing any hints of bursting through the ground.
Lily of the Valley flowers are my favorite. I suspect that it has something to do with how delicate and beautiful they are. I suspect it has something to do with their scent which I like. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that they grew in my maternal grandparents’ yard and in the yard of the home I grew up in. I suspect it has a whole lot more to do with the fact that they were from my Aunt June’s yard and connect me with her every Spring.
Before I worried about Spring flowers, I worried about COVID-19. Truth be told, I still do. Not so much for myself, but for all who have compromised immune systems, underlying health conditions, live in crowded conditions, don’t have the means to protect themselves or able to access health care, those who choose not to protect others, those who are employed and those who are unemployed. I am grateful for my good health, employment, the roof over my head, groceries that I can purchase, technology that connects me to others, health care that I can access, heat in our home, the ability to walk outdoors in uncrowded space and close enough to walk to the lake to enjoy its immense beauty and peace. I worry about those who do not have these things or have these things but cannot appreciate them.
I do worry about the church and each of you. When I worry about each of you, it is a pastoral worry and care that you are safe and well. I am grateful for the ways in which we stay connected. When I worry about the church, I worry about making the right decisions - when is it safe to open, how will we adapt to monumental changes that have been coming but can no longer be ignored since we have experienced this pandemic, will we be able to make the changes quick enough, will we be able to take care of our staff through this time. These are among the top of my list that I worry about.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told his followers to not worry. Worrying will not add an hour to our life spans. God, Jesus says, cares for everything and immensely cares for us. Our job is not to worry but to be faithful. Jesus says that we are to be about our work for God’s kingdom and let God take care of the rest.
Yesterday, the Lily of the Valley flowers in our yard appeared. They have been hard at work in the darkness of the earth until this time. Their appearance not only brought me a chuckle at my worry, but they also brought me great joy. They reminded me that all things are in God’s time, not ours.
So, if you have been worrying…about your lives, those who are close to you, your work, Christ’s church, I hope and pray that you can put it into perspective. Breathe in the gift of the Holy Spirit. May it center and calm our worried minds as we seek to work the best we can in the hope and assurance that God brings about good through all.
God, Creator of the World, and of our Lives, we thank you for breathing into us the very breath of life. In sleepless nights or moments of worry, may we feel your protection, strength, and ultimate care of us. Amen