epiphany 8a: living in your sweatpants without anxiety

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Gospels / Lectionary / New Testament

Matthew 6:25-27

“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?”

A few nights ago, we were closing down the house for the night. My wife was putting the kids to bed. I had taken out the trash, washed the dishes, and walked the dog.

Rather appropriately, I think, I was in sweatpants and a sweatshirt.

And then, as all my tasks were finished for the night, and my wife was sleeping soundly with the children, and it was still reasonably early… I set out for Starbucks.

I paused at the door for a moment. Do I go upstairs, risk waking someone up, and change my clothes? Or do I just go to Starbucks in my sweat pants?

I have to admit that I hemmed and hawed for a good solid moment. And then I decided, heck with it, I’d go in my sweatpants.

When I got to Starbucks I had two conflicting thoughts. First, I felt like I was in college again! Sporting the sweatpants and hoodie made me like I was back hitting the books, and living in loungewear.

Though, we didn’t have Starbucks way back when I was in college…

The other thought, was that I was disappointed how self-conscious I felt.

No one else was in sweatpants. I felt like every latte drinking customer there that night was looking at me, and judging me as a slob.

I knew I shouldn’t care about that. But, I did. And it troubled me.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells his listeners, and us, to not be anxious about earthly things. God takes care of the birds and the flowers of the field, and so God will take care of us too.

However, telling people in this day and age not to be anxious about anything, is like telling people not to breathe anymore. It’s almost ridiculous.

What would we do with ourselves if we didn’t have to worry?

As a culture, we’re anxious about everything. And, if we aren’t, we have 24 hour news and color coded threat levels to help us along. (Though I hear that the color code is going away… we’ll have to find other inspiration I suppose.)

But, Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount tells us that one of the prime values of the Kingdom of God is that we not be anxious, because God takes care of us all.

And, if we are in God’s hands, what do we really have to worry about?

The whole Sermon on the Mount is a text that we need to seriously absorb into our lives. And, at times that absorption will be incredibly difficult, because it’s values are so contrary to the values our world typically lives day-to-day.

We need blessedness, and to comprehend what it means to be blessed. We need righteousness on the outside and the inside. We need to let our light shine, and stay salty. We need to love all – neighbors, enemies, and those who give us the willies.

And we need to put our trust in God.

Even when we’re in our sweatpants.

What do you feel anxious about? When? Why? How might you turn those anxieties over to God’s care?

What about when it’s not ‘sweatpants’ that your anxious about, but huge, life-altering things?


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