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This morning we will be remembering the blessings that we have received. It could be the blessings of parents, spouses, families, jobs, church, lifelong friends or the blessings of retirement…
We have so much to be thankful for. So, I think this is a good time for us to remember and be thankful for all of our blessings. Would you pray with me?
We read this scripture of Matthew following the lectionary for Thanksgiving week. In today’s scripture Jesus is talking about the Creator who has filled the world with wonderful and mysterious things, full of beauty and energy and excitement. He talks about the One, Jesus himself who wants his human creatures to trust him and love him and receive good things from him as he says do not worry.
However, we live in a world filled with anxiety. For most of us, we worry more than what we will eat. It’s not just “what will I eat?” but “is what I eat tasty, low-fat, sugar-free, and organic?” It’s not only “what will we wear?” but rather, “will what I wear make me acceptable and attractive to those around me?” We worry “will our kids be healthy?” ““will I find someone that accepts me as I am?” “what do people think of me?” “will I find work?” We worry about retirement funds. We worry about parents getting older and how they will be cared for. We worry about paying the bills and the list goes on and on and on. Worry is just a part of our lives. But we are not the first or only generations to worry so much. I’m sure Jesus knows it. Recall the Israelites. They worried again and again just like us. The Israelites were worried as they wandered for forty years in the wilderness. Just a few days after God freed them from slavery in Egypt, with the miraculous parting of the Red Sea, they ran out of water. Moses, who had been a shepherd in this desert for forty years, guided them to a watering hole, but the water was bitter and people were worried. God knew they were worried so God led them to an area with twelve springs, one for each tribe. But a few days later the Israelites ran out of food. They worried again. God knew that they were worried so he rained down bread from heaven each morning and had quails fly by every evening so that the Israelites would never be hungry. Time after time, God had provided for them. But when the spies returned from the Promised Land with a report that the people of Canaan were powerful, and descended from giants the Israelites were worried. They were really worried.
Worry is a part of our lives. We do it well because we practice it all the time.