Eighth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A

WARNING: this is a dangerous line of thinking.

What if we were to really trust God?

What if we were to really completely and honestly and completely throw ourselves in to believing God will provide for the things we need?

Of course an important first bump in the road for us comes when we are discerning the things we Need.

Does anyone else feel uncomfortable with where this might lead?

In this week's lectionary selections we have readings that are encouraging the reader to trust and depend on God.

We will approach them in reverse order this time....mainly because Jesus's message is such a counter-cultural message, we cannot turn away from it.

In the passage from the gospel of Matthew, the first statement we have is "no one can serve two masters.....you cannot serve God and wealth." Okay....so we have to turn down the volume on our plasma television, put away our pay stubs, and stop our dishwasher so we can read that again.

"You cannot serve God and wealth."

Jesus goes on to offer several reasons why it is important to just focus on serving God. He even offers some insight in to how this might be done--primairly, the message is each of us should focus on being who we are and what we have under our control (what we actually have under our control, not what we would like to have under our control) and leave the rest of the orchestration up to God.

This does not sit well with us. For those of you who know us, you know that we are Accomplishers. We are Doers. We are Assessers and Control Takers.

Of course, we are also often Stressed Out. We are often Pulled Tight. We often are near the edge of being Burned Up.

Side Note: [Some scholars argue that this is evidence of Eastern / Buddhist influences in the Palestinian culture. The Buddha's teachings had been percolating for about 500 years at this point, and these points of Jesus seem quite similar to the Buddha's teachings of finding peace and resources within one's self and the contemplation of the smallest parts of creation. Consider the lillies.]

In Paul's letter to the followers of Jesus in Corinth he focuses on an important message that it is not a human's job to judge him or her self or anyone else. Judgment belongs to God.

The psalmist describes something that might be bewildering for us - a peace that passes understanding, if you will. Like a child full dependent and fully trusting on its mother, the psalmist rests in the hope of the Lord.

And in the passage from Isaiah we hear another message directly from God as to why we should trust God to provide for our Needs. For 8 verses here God recounts to the people how God has provided for them in the past and how God will provide for them in the future.

This is dangerous thinking.

It is uncomfortable to think about.

And it just might be a message of freedom that we all need.

I've lost touch with my roots...
with my flying instinct
while I am spinning in the world.
But as your creation
I seek deep knowing
of what I really need.
Help me rest
in knowing that You
are God.
I am not.

© matt & laura norvell 2011 www.settingourstones.org
we want to share this with you and hope you'll share with the world;
we simply ask that you let people know where you found these words.
May Grace & Peace be with you.

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