25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? ~ Matthew 6: 25-30
The older I get, the more I marvel at nature’s ability to recover after the harsh Canadian winters. Snow, ice, blizzards, minus 40-degree temperatures and yet year after year, sparrows, squirrels, bats, robins all emerge. They are small creatures, and yet, despite these conditions, every spring we see that first robin and we have the promise of warmer temperatures. A new spring, new growth, and new life bursts forth. It is hope and promise that we can see, touch, hear, and smell. It is a promise that we need not worry. Spring has come again full of good news, hope and promise for us.
God gives us other good news stories this spring, too. Not only have the smaller creatures returned, friends have seen crocuses in the fields, and green grass starting to grow. In this time of social isolation and pandemic, there is good news in how the church is learning to offer ministry in innovative and creative ways. It is good news to hear how we are supporting one another through phone calls and internet chats. Online worship services are viewed by more people than would attend on a Sunday morning. And even care homes are now able to adapt their television to provide our online worship services for people staying in their facilities. This is good news. God provides in ways we cannot always envision.
We need not worry. But we often do anyway. As we let the worry grow in us, we might lose sleep, lose our appetite, get a knot in our tummy. The stress of worry takes a toll and can turn into overthinking which is even less helpful. Instead, Jesus gives us an alternative: trust in God who provides for even the sparrow. Trust in the God who cares for even these creatures during the harsh winter, who brings about a spring each year, who offers hope and good news, who even raised Jesus from the dead so that all may have life.
God of life and hope, we thank you for creatures great and small. And we thank you for all of the ways that you provide for them and for us. Be with us in this time of uncertainty, help us to see all the ways you bring about new life and manifest good news in our world so that instead of worrying, we can place all our trust in You, for we ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.