We are coming to the end of our series, "The Heart of Christianity" based on the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew's gospel. This week we hear the oft-quoted, "Consider the lilies of the fields..." passage. http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Matthew+6:24-34&vnum=yes&version=nrsv Here's one that speaks pretty much directly to our market driven mad mad world. "You can't serve God and wealth." "Don't worry about what you will eat or drink, or what you will wear." "Seek first the Kingdom of God..." and everything else will be ok. So how do we actually do this? Am I supposed to just not pay attention to RRSP season? Is this a simple "don't worry- be happy" message or is there more to it.
Some would say that this is a question of balance. If you get too obsessed with material things, then your life will become materialistic. But if you aschew material things, your life can become unmanagable. It is a question of balance.
However, I think it is a question of priority. Seek first! Seek first and foremost that you have your heart in the right place, that when push comes to shove, you will choose a light hold on stuff and a firm hold on God. I am guessing that I will run out of money before I run out of time in this life, and I am hoping that having lived well, all will, indeed be well.
And what about our communities of faith. Do we "seek first" to pay off the mortgage, to deal with the deficit, or do we seek first to be in line with our calling and trust that, with enough commitment, the mortgage and the deficit will not sink us. This is hard stuff for us personally and for us as churches. Sorry folks. No simple message of "Don't worry, be happy" here.