Tag Archives: worry

Strange Things

Strange things are happening,
things we fear,
things that seem odd,
events we don’t understand.

What do we do?
Panic?
Worry?
Search the internet
for answers?
See what the newspapers say?

Or do we stand
as God’s people
and wait
for what he is going to do?

We pray,
as every day
for the Kingdom to come
and to be ready when it does
whenever that is.

2015-07-21 16.39.49

Luke 21:25-36 (CEV)

When the Son of Man Appears

25 Strange things will happen to the sun, moon, and stars. The nations on earth will be afraid of the roaring sea and tides, and they won’t know what to do. 26 People will be so frightened that they will faint because of what is happening to the world. Every power in the sky will be shaken.  27 Then the Son of Man will be seen, coming in a cloud with great power and glory. 28 When all of this starts happening, stand up straight and be brave. You will soon be set free.

A Lesson from a Fig Tree

29 Then Jesus told them a story:

When you see a fig tree or any other tree 30 putting out leaves, you know that summer will soon come. 31 So, when you see these things happening, you know that God’s kingdom will soon be here. 32 You can be sure that some of the people of this generation will still be alive when all of this takes place. 33 The sky and the earth won’t last forever, but my words will.

A Warning

34 Don’t spend all of your time thinking about eating or drinking or worrying about life. If you do, the final day will suddenly catch you 35 like a trap. That day will surprise everyone on earth. 36 Watch out and keep praying that you can escape all that is going to happen and that the Son of Man will be pleased with you.

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Don’t Be Annoyed

(By David.)

Trust the Lord

37 Don’t be annoyed by anyone
who does wrong,
    and don’t envy them.
They will soon disappear
    like grass without rain.

Trust the Lord and live right!
    The land will be yours,
    and you will be safe.
Do what the Lord wants,
    and he will give you
    your heart’s desire.

Let the Lord lead you
    and trust him to help.
Then it will be as clear
as the noonday sun
    that you were right.

Be patient and trust the Lord.
    Don’t let it bother you
when all goes well for those
    who do sinful things.
Don’t be angry or furious.
    Anger can lead to sin.
All sinners will disappear,
    but if you trust the Lord,
    the land will be yours.

Ooooh!  Don’t be annoyed by anyone… (or as the KJV says, “Fret not yourself” – love that!) That is so a message I need to hear.  Oh, there’s more of that sentence.  Don’t be annoyed by anyone who does wrong.  Still an equally important message.  We are not responsible for their actions – but we are for our own.  Whilst we’re busy looking at what others are doing and sitting in judgement on their mistakes, are we missing our own?  Does it make us feel better to sit in righteous indignation?

I sometimes think that these “fly on the wall” tv series are designed to make us feel better about ourselves.  To be able to look at the lives of others and think, “I would never do that”, to judge those we have no idea of their lives, and consider ourselves better.

The message of this Psalm is don’t worry about those who do wrong, let God deal with them.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t campaign against wrong, for example the atrocious fancy dress costumes highlighted last week that after a social media campaign were withdrawn, but that we shouldn’t worry if those who do wrong seem to be getting along and doing well.

We should trust God and do what he asks of us – not dissimilar to God’s reply to Habakkuk

What to Worry About

…so we will be cared for and catered for by God.  Instead we must strive for God’s kingdom (p44)

So, we don’t need to worry about where our needs are coming from, how they will be met, God will deal with that.

What we do need to worry about and to work for is the coming of God’s Kingdom – where we are.  For that is something we can do something about.  To be God’s people, his representatives, his agents.  Living a life of God-worship, focussed, not on what we need, but what we can give.  Looking, not in shop windows, but on what God is doing – right here and now.

This is a fresh translation of the passage that ‘Consider the Lilies’ is based on:

Matthew 6:25-34

The Message (MSG)

25-26 “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

27-29 “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to 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 your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

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