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February 26, 2011 – Luke 12

Click here to read Luke 12 on BibleGateway.com

We live in a world that has raised worry to an art form. And not just any art form, but the greatest art form known to the world: television. Shows started out telling the news, bad or good. Then we realized that just focusing on the bad news got higher ratings, so we we focused on that. Then we realized there wasn’t enough bad news locally to fill 24 hours a day, so we expanded to national and world news.

But as it turns out, there may not be enough bad news in the world to fill 12 news channels, so we have to start anticipating bad things happening. There are TV shows that focus on “What ifs,” such as “what if there were a major ice age that hit exclusively in Hawaii?” or “what if all the bacon in the world suddenly turned into pancakes? Are you prepared?”

THE JOY OF WORRY

We love to worry. It makes us feel that we are prepared, and plus it helps to raise those all-important stress hormones in the body to help us build up an extra layer of flab for the coming times of winter starvation.

Unfortunately Jesus seems less enthused about our penchant for worry. In fact, he seems almost to take it to the level of irresponsibility. He tells in today’s chapter that we shouldn’t worry about food, shelter or clothing, which seems kinda crazy until you remember that the Israelites in the desert had clothes and shoes that didn’t wear out for 40 years and food that just showed up on the ground in the morning. Maybe Jesus knows what he’s talking about.

PREPARATION vs TRUST

This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t work hard to get ready for troubles ahead; Jesus also talks about counting the cost before setting out on a venture. But the point is that hoarding for an imaginary disaster that may or may not happen is not God’s will. He suggests (sounds better than commanded) that we give our possessions to the poor and store up supplies in heaven instead. The preparation isn’t wrong; it’s the nagging worry that God won’t take care of us, so we have to do it ourselves that seems to be the point.

Could you live without a savings or retirement account? Do you trust God to provide your needs when you need them?

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