32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
I’ve got news, and it’s really good news. God loves you. In fact, God loves you very much- more than you imagine. One of the ways that God shows us his love is by telling us not to be afraid. In fact, there are more scriptures addressing fear than any other; 365 to be precise- one for every day of the year. So we should get that, right?
“Worry, like a rocking chair, will give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” –Vance Havner
But the problem is we do worry. We worry about COVID, about our jobs, the financial crisis, our aging parents, our young kids. We have anxiety in the little things; when we mask-up to go to the grocery store or go to the doctor or dentist, all things we have taken for granted in the past. But that was when the world was a less scary place. How do we keep ourselves stable when the virus is surging?
We trust. We have a good God who calls us his flock and furthermore wants to give us the kingdom. Now, a kingdom must have a king, so what is this king like? Is God a benevolent dictator, a stern despot, or a greedy absolute ruler? It stands to reason that since we are the flock, God is our shepherd. More than that, the scripture states that “it’s your father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” A generous king who is a shepherd and a father. That, I can trust.
My family will tell you that I have an exuberance for Jesus and a flair for the dramatic. So when I read that this shepherd-king, the creator of the universe, desires to give us the kingdom with pleasure — no, with good pleasure — how can we not smile and desire to move into this peaceful and blessed neighborhood? I want to worry less, don’t you?
The thing is, we need to ask for directions to this kingdom, so let’s read these verses that immediately precede our text: “What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, 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 yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.“
Luke 12:31 The Message
Today, let’s choose not to worry by steeping ourselves in “God-reality, God-initiative, and God-provisions.”
Thank you so much that you are our loving shepherd who offers peace. Please help us to stop unhealthy worrying, even in such a time as this, and live a new way, seeking you, O God, in all things. And then send us out to spread your love and peace to a community that so badly needs it.