For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (Matthew 6:25)
These well-known words of Jesus are often used as an antidote for anxiety, and this passage is an excellent resource for this purpose. Our pastor preached on this passage not long ago, reminding us take care to not let worries over our needs distract us from pursuit of the Lord and His kingdom. The women of Perisseia looked at this passage as part of a series on anxiety. But as we head into the holiday season, it seems to me that this passage can be a most helpful caution about the busy-ness that could distract us from the spiritual business at hand.
The Apostle Paul reminds us to give thanks always. As important as this message is, we take time in November to pay particular attention to cultivating a thankful heart and identifying our abundant blessings as we give praise to the Giver of all good gifts. And then Christmas follows Thanksgiving and we are called to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, the Messiah, our Savior and eternal Lord.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are significant holidays, worth celebrating. They give us a wonderful opportunity to build and reinforce relationships and bless those who are less fortunate. But as we plan our celebrations, questions as to what we will eat and what we will wear are unavoidable. I plan our holiday meals with a good bit of care, and as we approach Christmas, each of my children and grandchildren (as they become old enough) are asked to choose their favorite sweet treat for me to make.
The challenge is, of course, to plan and prepare appropriately within the context of Jesus’s words. I can plan and prepare for holiday celebrations without becoming anxious and without becoming distracted from the real God show. May God Incarnate enable us by His Holy Spirit to take His words to heart and consider that food, drink, and clothing are only the accessories of this season of gratitude and celebration.