A kingdom where people are worth more than sparrows. But where even sparrows are cared for, and flowers are well-dressed. “Don’t worry!” Christ tells us. “I’ll tend to your needs.” But that seems a lot easier when things are going well doesn’t it? With a well-stocked fridge and over-flowing pantry.
But what about people in the 3rd world? We often help needy people over here. Europe is in poor condition. Many Italians without work. Multitudes of impoverished refugees and immigrants. Businesses closing, families breaking up.
And we often wonder: How can we tell these people not to worry? It seems easy for us. We’ve got a nice home, employment. We don’t worry about our daily bread.
But it was mostly poor, common folk who followed Christ.
The crowd listening that day weren’t all wealthy and ‘important’. We would certainly find among them widows barely eking out a living, orphans alone and forgotten, farmers whose crops had failed, fishermen with empty nets, and the blind, crippled, and lame— reduced to begging in the streets.
Yet the Lord told even them not to worry because their Father knew what they needed. Don’t worry about this stuff. It’s my job to take care of you — I’m your Father. Your job is to do to my work.
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them, (Luke 12:27-31).
No matter how poor we are, or what difficulty we’re passing through, we can still trust everything to his care. And we can still be about his business.
Whether we have little or much, we can still care for others.
As a parent barely getting by, we can meet our children’s needs the best we can, and concentrate on giving them as much love as possible. If our fishing nets are empty, we can care for our neighbors anyway, sharing our fruits and vegetables. Or even when our crops fail, or our pay gets cut or just plain disappears, we can still be about the Father’s business — reaching out in some way.
I can’t imagine what it’s like to live in constant poverty, with no way out, and I don’t want to make light of these real and desperate problems. But I know the Lord is still saying to all Christ-followers everywhere, “I’ll tend to you. You just tend to my work. Caring for your family. Loving your neighbors.
And telling everyone who will listen about a different kind of kingdom. A kingdom with values turned right side up. Where God values people more than sparrows. But where even the sparrows are cared for, and even the lilies dress ever so elegantly. Because the Father sees and never forgets.
Whether you live in a hut or in a mansion, are you tending to God’s kingdom work? The kingdom, that according to the world, is totally upside down. But where everything is really the right way?
How do you show others the kingdom of everything turned right side up?