October 2018

“Fear not… it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom”
Luke 12.32 (RSV)

It is said that the words ‘fear not’ occur 365 times in the Bible: even if this is incorrect, it is surely one of the most frequent commands that we have from the Divine voice – and a command it is. Here in these verses of Luke’s Gospel they occur in the context of loving but firm teaching from Jesus to his disciples about the future, and how it affects our life here and now. 

Jesus is talking to his disciples about the need for honesty –with ourselves, and before God. We need a sense of what is real, what is important, of true and lasting value. In the way of all good teachers, Jesus uses simple, immediate and familiar examples to illustrate the unseen and unknowable things of God.

At this time we are especially aware of the materialism of our world, of things that are made or built or constructed using technology of the most amazing kind in order to catch and hold our attention and desires. As we are faced with stories of immense wealth and of immense poverty side by side in our daily news and media, it is hard to fasten our eyes, let alone our minds and our hearts on things that are not of this material world. 

Jesus tells the disciples – and us – that we should not worry about material things: God will provide for our needs. It is our Father’s pleasure to give us the Kingdom and our task is to seek that Kingdom, to live and watch and have faith in God – to make the things of God our treasure and set our hearts on this. There is no need to be anxious about how we are to deal with the threats that we face - those who believe in the Son of God are of infinite value to the Father, and the Holy Spirit will be with them, telling them how to act and speak.

All things in this world are presented to us by God for our use, our enjoyment and our delight. But this Word demands from us a response – of joy and praise and love and service, to draw us nearer to Him, to lead us into his Kingdom.