November 25, 2023

Don’t Be Afraid

Luke 12:22-34

“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.”

—  Luke 12:24

Today’s reading from Luke is similar to yesterday’s reading from Matthew. Jesus probably taught this lesson often, perhaps even pointing to birds that were nearby at the time.

Jesus urges his listeners to recognize what is most important in life. Is it food? Clothing? Having lots of money and possessions? In many parts of the world, the expectation that people will enjoy a life of security, privacy, and comfort is almost assumed. Yet, after times of disaster, when possessions are destroyed, we’ll often hear, “Those were just things that can be replaced if we really need them—we’re just glad to be alive.”

Jesus knows that a life attached to material things can lead to anxiety. Things are temporary, and we can’t always control when or how our possessions will be taken from us. So it’s better to attach ourselves to each other and to God. Jesus encourages us to live in such a way that people and their needs have priority over possessions and ownership. So let’s not be controlled by worries about possessions or food or money.

Jesus concludes by saying, “Do not be afraid, little flock.” He knows that we’re vulnerable, and he knows what we need. In fact, he promises that God, our Father, will give us the kingdom—much more than we need.

Lord Jesus, thank you for your tender care for us, and for guiding us in the way of wisdom. Help us to care more about each other than about our things. Amen.

About the author — Julia Prins Vanderveen

Julia Prins Vanderveen works and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband, Trevor, and their three sons. Julia has served as a copastor with Trevor at a church in Vancouver. She is a campus pastor and a humanities teacher at the Vancouver Christian School.

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