“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
As is common in the Episcopal Church, I grew up with the tradition on giving up something for Lent. It wasn’t until I joined St. John’s that one Sunday I was introduced, by the Rector, to the concept of giving into an action during the Lenten season. The first year I tried this, I decided to write handwritten letters to whoever was on my mind on the designated writing days. The letters were nothing specific; just that the person was on my mind, and I usually relayed some story from the past. I didn’t realize how impactful my correspondences had been until the recipients responded with joy. And I also hadn’t realized how modern technology had paradoxically made me less connected to friends and family. While this task may seem simple to many, it was very much a struggle, as I find writing quite difficult. Ever since, I’ve embraced Lent as a time to try giving into something outside my comfort zone. (Last year it was attending Maundy Thursday and participating in feet washing—which is challenging for the germaphobe in me but turned out to be a very emotional experience.)
As Jesus encourages us not to worry in today’s Gospel reading, consider using this Lenten season to do something that you find uncomfortable, knowing that by trusting in God all things are possible.
Appointed readings for today: Isaiah 1:2-4, 16-20, Psalm 50:7-15, 22-24, Matthew 23:1-12