The Joy of Reliance

Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? – Matthew 6.26

            As I continue my Doctoral studies of Scripture, history, and humanity I see a recurring theme.  We as the people of God do best when we fully rely on Christ.  Not only relying on Christ for our salvation but relying on Christ for every single facet of our lives.  Human history since the Fall has been marked by human anxiety around providing for ourselves.  The rise of intensive agriculture rather than relying on what God provides from the land and sea is the foremost example of that. 

            As people began to produce more grain than what they needed, they thought life would get easier.  That was not the case, however.  Things began going downhill.  When we have more than we need greed quickly sneaks in.  After greed, comes the anxiety around protecting what we have.  From that anxiety comes fear which leads to violence.   We see this in the death of Adam and Eve’s son Abe..  This continues with the narrative of Abraham and Sarah being called out of Ur into the wilderness of God’s promised land.  They left the storehouses in the city of Ur to dwell in God’s provision of the wilderness.  God continues making that point in the narrative of the Exodus and calling the people to live on the manna that God provides while only gathering enough for that day.  In fact, when more than the daily need was gathered, it all spoiled with worms.  The prophets raised this call throughout the time of the kings pleading with the people to trust God and not the money they pay to some vassal power to protect them against another neighborhood bully.

            Jesus comes with the most powerful words calling us to depend on God alone.  Christ speaks against greed and hoarding.  Christ speaks against anxiety and fear.  Christ calls us to pray for our “daily bread”.  Not our weekly bread or monthly bread, our daily bread.  It is a fundamental truth of nature that God provides what God’s creation needs.  We as humans are fallen because we fail to trust and rely on that fundamental truth.  We have taken all of creation down with us, and as Paul says in Romans, it groans in anticipation of Christ’s return which will show us once and for all that we need nothing other than to abide in God.

            We as a congregation must trust that Christ will provide.  When we abide in that trust our bodies and minds calm and we think clearly.  We can discern clearly how Christ is leading us and rejoice in his hope.  May we be a community that hears Christ tell us that even the birds of the air are fully cared for and provided by God.  We are far more valuable than them because of our unique capacity to know and love our Lord.  May we do so in abundance!

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Jeremiah Knabe

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