Consider the Lilies

28 ‘And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.

And so the book moves on to the next picture, Consider the Lilies, which can be seen here, at the top of page 2.

To reflect first on the picture.  Christ is in a field of wild flowers.  They look to me like daisies and a dandelion for good measure, much less exotic and more grounded in everyday English life than lilies.  These are not plants whose cultivation has been carefully thought out and planned.  They are just there, seeds blown on the wind, or dropped by birds.  But that seems to give them no less value.  Jesus is not admiring them from afar, wandering through the field.  He has got down on his hands and knees to carefully observe them.  No doubt to enjoy their beauty, their fragrance, to see the minute detail, the intricate pattern each one has.

However random these flowers appear, they are beautiful, they are cared about by God, Christ himself is interested in them.

These verses come within a passage about worry, or rather lack of worry:

Worry

25 I tell you not to worry about your life. Don’t worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn’t life more than food or clothing? 26 Look at the birds in the sky! They don’t plant or harvest. They don’t even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren’t you worth more than birds?

27 Can worry make you live longer? 28 Why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow. They don’t work hard to make their clothes. 29 But I tell you that Solomon with all his wealth wasn’t as well clothed as one of them. 30 God gives such beauty to everything that grows in the fields, even though it is here today and thrown into a fire tomorrow. He will surely do even more for you! Why do you have such little faith?

31 Don’t worry and ask yourselves, “Will we have anything to eat? Will we have anything to drink? Will we have any clothes to wear?” 32 Only people who don’t know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father in heaven knows that you need all of these. 33 But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.

34 Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.

With Jesus taking such careful interest in wild flowers, how much more we can be assured he takes a careful interest in our lives.  He is not far off, admiring from a distance, but crouched down among us, absorbed and attentive – noticing, caring, loving. You and me.

This year for Lent, I am reading Christ in the Wilderness by Bishop Stephen Cottrell, published by SPCK, reflecting on Stanley Spencer’s paintings of that title.

I’m not necessarily going to blog every day on it, just when something leaps out at me – and they will be thoughts rather than full blog posts

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