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Why Worry?

In the middle of His Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on.” (St. Mt. 6:25 RSV) We are not to worry about our lives. He pointed to the birds, saying, “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 then they?” (St. Mt. 6:26) Christ was not implying that we should not work or plan for the future. The Lord was telling us that we should not feel insecure.

Worry is incompatible with the Christian life for several reasons. First, worry is a waste of energy. Christ said, “And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life?” (St. Mt. 6:27) Take health for instance. Can worry about our health add one day to our life? No, it cannot. In fact the opposite is more likely. By worry we actually impair our health and shorten our life span. Worry is counter productive. It is a waste of our energy and waste is always unchristian.

Worry is also a sign that one has a puny and underdeveloped faith. The Lord asks us, “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? (St. Mt. 6:30) What did Christ mean by little faith? Little faith is just enough faith to save. It is saving faith, but it doesn’t go beyond that. Such faith doesn’t extend to every day life. Little faith will get a person to heaven, but it will not bring the joy of heaven down to earth here and now.

If we are consumed with anxiety and worry we are saying one of four things about God. We may be saying that God doesn’t understand our situation. Or that He doesn’t have the power to meet our needs. Thirdly we may be saying that God is capricious and changeable. Or finally that God really doesn’t care about us. All of these are patently false.

Worry is also wrong for the Christian because worry is a characteristic of the world that doesn’t know God. The Lord tells us, “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” (St. Mt. 6:31,32) The Gentile world lived in darkness having no special revelation from God. They lived in ignorance of God and salvation. The pagan world generally held one of two views of life. Either they believed that everything happened by mere chance or that all was controlled by blind fate. Both views lead to an overwhelming sense of anxiety. When we who are Christians allow worry to dominate our lives we are reverting to a pre-Christian mentality and world view.

There are three things we are to do to free ourselves from worry. First, we need to repent, because worry is a sin. St. Paul tells us, “...whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”
(Rom.14:23) And worry certainly does not proceed from faith, but from a lack of it.

Secondly, we need to develop a new perspective on God. Christ tells us that the Father feeds the birds and clothes the flowers and we His children are of much greater value to Him. St. Peter learned this lesson well and advises us, “Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.” ( I Peter 5:7)

God has a plan and purpose for the life of every believer. He is personally involve in fulfilling that plan. When we worry we are saying that God might fail. We are questioning His power and ability. Our God is not only interested in our ultimate salvation, but is concerned about every aspect of our lives. Why shouldn’t we worry? The answer is God, our Father.

Thirdly, we need to limit our cares to today. The Lord concluded by saying, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.” (St. Mt. 6:34) J.B. Phillips paraphrased this verse so well when he put it, “Don’t worry at all about tomorrow. Tomorrow can take care of itself! One day’s trouble is enough for one day.” No truer words were ever spoken. Focus on today and trust God for tomorrow, because He is already there waiting for us to arrive.

by Rev. Frank M. Levi

Parish News
Lent began on Ash Wednesday, February 28, 2001, with a pot-luck dinner at 6:30 p.m. and a service at 7:30 p.m. The dinners and services will continue on Wednesdays throughout Lent. Everyone is invited.

Looking Ahead
Final Lenten Dinner April 4, 2001
Palm Sunday April 8, 2001
Good Friday Service April 13, 2001, 7:30 p.m.
Easter Sunday April 15, 2001
Breakfast 9:00 a.m. - Holy Communion 10:30 a.m.

Missionary of The Month

Domestic Missions
Please pray for Bishop and Mrs. Fincke (Ann), and their children Katie, Emily, Elizabeth, and Andrew. All Saints Reformed Episcopal Mission in Vacaville, California.

Sunday, March 11, 2001

Happy Birthday!
March 1 - Dale Muir
March 3 - Holly Ardizzone
March 5 - Ian Christenson
March 12 - Amy Christenson

Spring Song
“The earth is the Lord’s
and fulness thereof”-
It speaks of His greatness
and it sings of His love,
And the wonder and glory
of the first Easter morn,
Like the first Christmas night
when the savior was born,
Are blended together
in symphonic splendor
And God with a voice
that is gentle and tender
Speaks to all hearts
attuned to His voice,
Bidding His listeners
to gladly rejoice ...
For He who was born
to be crucified
Arose from the grave
to be glorified ...
And the birds in the trees
and the flowers of Spring
All join in proclaiming
this heavenly King.

Helen Steiner Rice

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