November 27, 2003
Thanksgiving (USofA)

Matthew 6:25-33

"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 and the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hand 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.

"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.

"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."

<The Message>

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1. There seems to be a connection between the pleasing of the tongue and dirtying of the tongue. We can get what we want to provide a taste treat. In season or out of season sweet things come easily to the tongue. At the same time the language about us is coarsened by what comes so easily to the tongue. Life is more than what pleases the tongue.

The same is true of our clothing. What fabric is beyond us, what style won't we try on? If it can be bought, particularly if it is by sweatshop labor to make it inexpensive to us while costly in the lives of others, we will buy it.

Is not this behavior an exhibition of being careless of the care GOD offers us?

2. No matter how many times we have been fooled by advertising to get the latest fashion (in whatever product line) and ended up with something more to throw out or build a bigger barn for (storage is big business), we still keep fussing - ready to get the next new and improved item that comes our way. There is no end to our desire.

So how do we deal with desire? Well, one way is to get closer to creation, including our own. If we can catch a glimpse of the glory of a flower's design we might catch a reflection of our own glory already attained.

3. Whether prelude or postlude to our waking up to the "God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions" already ours, we do come to glory in, respond to, GOD's giving and add our own giving into the mix. This waking up does seem to have a relationship to our ability to rest and relax in GOD without being preoccupied, worried, entitled. In this relaxed state we can really participate in life - our own and others.

Relax, give thanks, get to work.