The Lectionary Gospel reading for American Thanksgiving Day is Matthew 6:25-33. It’s a passage that’s very familiar to those of us who live with anxiety and deal with fear. And it’s a great passage to consider as we approach the holiday season ahead. Take some time to read it slowly. Read it through a couple of times. Try reading it aloud and let the Holy Spirit speak to you through the words. What word or phrase pops out to you? What image speaks to you? What questions come up as you read and listen to it? What do you notice?
“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
“Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Are you fussing about life or are you steeping in God reality?
I realize that I fuss about a lot of things, especially around the holidays. House cleaning, presents, food prep, money, not enough time, not enough energy. Wanting to host parties for neighbors and family but feeling like there are not enough days! For me:
FUSS= Fearfulness, Ungratefulness, Selfishness & Stress!
When I let these four things get the better of me, I cannot experience the CARE of God!
As we approach the holiday season, I need to be reminded that God is taking care of things. Jesus has got this! I don’t have to fuss! I can choose not to “toil or spin.” I can choose to let Jesus have my bag of worry and carry it all for me!
What things do you worry about the most in your everyday life? Do you worry more about food, clothes, or something else? What else?
How much time do you waste worrying, or FUSSING?
How would your life be different if you lived “careless in the care of God”?
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? Why is this hard to believe and trust in?
As I sat with this passage, God used the image of a teapot to encourage me to be more steeped in GOD’s REALITY for me. I had to pause and think about what God Reality actually is! I made a list: I am Cared for, Loved, Attended to, Honored, Provided for, Created Uniquely, Gifted, and God wants what is best for me! WOW! these are some much better things, better realities than FUSSING! I truly want to be STEEPED in these things!
I am now carrying around an actual TEABAG with me in my journal and in my back pack as a visual reminder to STEEP in God’s Reality!
How can you STEEP your life in more God Reality and less worry, less comparison, less competition? What image would help you FUSS less in the days ahead?
Take some time this week to consider this. Brew some tea, make a list of the things you Fuss about and give them to Jesus! Or maybe an image of a bag filled with all your worries would help you release these to God. Maybe you need to carry around a teabag too! My prayer for us is that this holiday season, we will all steep in God’s love and reality for us rather than spending any time fussing!
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Advent to you all!