It has been said, sarcastically, why pray when you can worry? We are looking at worrying about tomorrow. Specifically worrying about the needs of life, food, drink, clothing and shelter. We have seen that the Son of Man wants to shift our focus off these things and off tomorrow and he assures us that God knows what we need (before we ask).
So this week, how will that focus shift play out? The Son of Man advises that there is a better way to live than running after your needs. It’s counterintuitive but I will illustrate it for you.
Many years ago, my younger sister and I would play chess. We both loved the game, so played often. She’s eleven years younger than me so I had to make sure I was fair in my approach.
For her, however, the pleasure she got out of the game was by accumulating as many pieces as possible. Her strategy was to get as many of my pieces as she could and line them up her side of the board. But this misses the point. The point of chess is to go for the king. That’s how you win.
The Oxford dictionaries have just announced the word of the year of 2018 – it’s “toxic”. Make of that what you will, but the Son of Man is warning against a strategy of life which runs after the pieces. It may have its pleasures, but it generates worry, and, most of all it misses the point. In that sense it’s toxic.
“Seek first” he says, “the Kingdom of God and his righteousness”. This will play out in a thousand scenarios in your week. What is the Kingdom issue? What decision best submits to the King? If it was easy it would not require seeking but it does require thought, energy and complex emotions.
One suggestion. The more I seek the Kingdom of God the more I realize that it is an inner Kingdom. After all, the Son of Man said the Kingdom is within you. So, could it be about seeking the King of your mind, heart, soul, feelings and shadows? It’s certainly an inner seeking but must inevitably play out in your week.
What about the stuff you need? The Son of Man argues that if you get the seeking focused on the Kingdom of God and his righteousness (note righteousness, not happiness) then the stuff we need gets added. Why? Because your heavenly Father already knows what you need.
One final thought. Do you want to know what that looks like in practice? Look no further, a baby is coming who will show you that model under a Nazareth sky. Next week our Christmas series starts
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well
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