Jesus says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness and all these things (of life) will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:27
Dear People of St. David’s,
As we draw near to the end of the season of Lent and the celebration of God’s great triumph on Good Friday and Easter, I pray that you and yours are safe and well. I pray, too, that this Lent has been a time for God to strengthen your faith as you have paid more attention to your life in God. If you haven’t started yet, or have become distracted, step up and give God your heart and time anew. For the life given over to God is the life that God can bless and empower and renew.
Over my three week “Sabbatical” in February, I spent a lot of time on one of my favorite parts of Jesus’ teaching, The Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew, chapters 5 through 7. I read this passage at least once a month to remind me how Jesus sees this life in God and how we are all called to live our daily lives. Over my time away, I spent a lot of time studying this core of Jesus’ teaching and reading others’ comments and insights on Jesus’ words. I’ve been teaching on it over four weeks this Lent.
This Sunday is the final installment of this four-part series and focuses on one of the most challenging parts of the life of faith, abandonment to God, or relinquishing or giving over our lives to God fully. Abandonment to God, or giving our lives fully to God, is challenging because it requires us to put all of our lives in God’s hands. Jesus calls us all to live with a single focus on God and allow all other aspects of our lives to take a lesser place.
Putting God first in all areas of our lives is a challenge for all of us and probably takes a lifetime for most of us to realize. We like to take control and direct our own lives; giving that over to God and to God’s purposes feels unsettling. But the promise of Our Lord is that when we seek God and God’s kingdom first, then all the things of life that we tend to focus on and seek to control will be given to us as well.
So, as we draw closer to the celebration of Christ’s passion and resurrection, let me invite you to commit or recommit all of your life to God and to God’s purposes. Take some time each day to offer each part of your life over to God and God’s purposes. For when we do, Jesus promises that we will experience nothing less than God’s kingdom of grace, peace, power, and love for our living as well as the things of life.
See you in church!
Grace and Peace,
The Rev. W. Frank Allen