In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus doesn’t mince any words when he instructs those listening: “Do not worry.” Neither does he hold back when addressing the tendency for people to treasure that which should not be treasured, describing in vivid detail how susceptible our treasures are to moth and rust and thieves. In the end, the entirety of this section of the Sermon on the Mount is an attempt to overthrow the reign of anxiety in the lives of Christ-followers, so that we might fix our hearts on the true King and his Kingdom and nothing else.
Certainly Jesus has in mind individuals as he speaks these words. Clearly he hopes for the lives of those who are listening to be transformed. And what a difference it would make if followers of Jesus would in fact abandon their anxiety and their attempts to control the future and instead seek the Kingdom of God and let things play out as they will!
At the same time, it’s worth hearing this text from a communal point of view and receiving these words not merely as words for individuals but words for the church as well. The truth is the church gets caught up in anxiety too, so much so that it can at times neglect to seek the Kingdom of God to the degree it is called to do so. Rowan Williams describes this tendency in the following video, while offering some thoughts as to what it would look like for the church to trust God with the future, just as Jesus invites us to do in this text.
Questions for Reflection
1. In what ways have you witnessed the church become plagued by anxiety?
2. In what ways have you seen the church choose trust instead of anxiety?
3. What might God be inviting the church to do now to trust God with the future instead of obsessing over its anxiety?
The Good Life Playlist
If music speaks to your soul, make this playlist–comprised of songs that explore the various themes in the Sermon on the Mount–a part of the soundtrack of your life as we explore together The Good Life Jesus invites us to live.