I recently read Luke chapter 12 and there was a part of the passage that hit me like a ton of bricks. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32
You see, I like many people here live in fear. We are afraid to keep our jobs, our families, and our lives in order. We form habits and routines and when those things change. We start to become worried or afraid.
But Jesus tells us that it is God’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom. God wants to give us everything we want and need in this world, so why be afraid?
So when we are confronted with something that frightens us we may turn it over to God and we hear God say “do not be afraid”. Sometimes that is helpful and we move forward. Other times we may say to Jesus “it is more comfortable living in my fear.” The truth is we can live in fear but our faith pushes us forward.
You see, God wants to give us us everything we need to be successful in this world. God doesn’t just hope we do alright. God isn’t just sitting around waiting for us to do the right thing or watching to make sure we are behaving properly. Instead God wants to give us the kingdom and all good things. In fact, Jesus says it’s “your Father’s good pleasure” — that is, God really, really wants to give us the kingdom and all good things.
Just knowing that changes everything. It’s one thing for God to love us, to care for us, and it is a completely different thing when God says to us that not only does God want the best for us, but God is willing to give us everything to make that happen.
God wants us to be worry-free, to keep our priorities straight, to not be consumed by greed or love of those things that do not bring real happiness. God wants us to have and enjoy and share the abundant life that comes from authentic community and right relationship with God and each other.
Jesus doesn’t want us to miss the God-Moments that constantly surround us. They happen when we experience generosity instead of accumulation, in community instead of looking out for ourselves, in vulnerability and relationship rather than in strength. It’s easy to miss God who comes in love and grace, when all we expect is law and punishment.
Jesus is calling us to action because our time here and now matters. Jesus promises us a future reality far too wondrous to be believed, Jesus also transforms the way we understand our present reality. The promise changes us.
It is hard to live fully into what God is calling us to do because we are afraid. We love our family and when we look at things we see that we don’t have enough money or time. We see that the world is not safe for our children anymore. We want, we need places in our life that are safe and constant.
The kingdom that God gives us is a kingdom of new life where it is okay to be afraid, but a place where we are also pushed out of our comfort zones and given God’s love, grace, forgiveness and everlasting life. Amen.