September 22, 2021 - Do Not Worry - A Reflection on Luke 9:1-6

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.

When traveling to distant countries on mission, I usually stay for a few weeks to make the effort and the expense worth it. I carry with me a single suitcase and whatever is contained in it takes me through the entire mission. Now when you think about it you realize that, in addition to bed and bath, this is all that one really needs to live. 

In today’s passage, Jesus tells his apostles to take nothing on their journeys: no stick, no sack, no food, no money. They were to rely solely on him for their provision, and there is no report in Scripture that the apostles ever wanted for anything. I can attest to the same. During 16 years of missionary travel, I have never lacked anything on any journey.

Dwell on this for a moment, then look around you and what you have, and think about how much it cost you to get all of it. And think about the stress and worry you went through to obtain it, and the stress and worry you go through now afraid that you will lose it all.  This is why Jesus says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where thieves do not break in and steal.”

Then he tells us how to live a stress-free life. “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 than food, and the body more than clothes? 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? So do not worry…” (Matthew 6:25-27,31).

God will provide for our every need (not our greed!); we have his assurance of that. All we need to do is “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” because that is what is really important as it safeguards our soul for all eternity. And both are obtained through Jesus Christ, savior and redeemer of the world.

So, do not worry .....