Are You Weary of Worry? 
Sunday, November 19, 2006, 07:00 AM - Sermon
Posted by Administrator
Matthew 6:25-33

In his book, A New Kind of Christian, Brian D. McLaren has a character, (a Presbyterian Pastor!) includes these two contrasting world views:

Story one goes like this: Once upon a time, the universe banged into being for no apparent reason and with no apparent purpose. Someday it will end and there will be no one left to remember it ever existed. In the meantime, we live and die, and that's about it.

Story two begins with a Creator who designs the universe to produce life. The Creator cares about everything he has made, including us. The Creator reaches out to us in many ways, constantly inviting us into a relationship of trust. When we die, we enter into the Creator's presence so that in some sense this life that we now live is a prelude to a dimension of life that never dies.—page 86

Now both of these stories cannot be true. If you believe the first, which begins with a bang and ends without a whimper…no wonder you worry about what you will eat, what you will drink, or what you will wear. There is no higher or deeper meeting in story one than to survive and pack as much pleasure in your life. The final end of life is your end, to be fed and watered and dressed up nice.

But if you believe the second that begins and ends with a loving Creator: Your worries move from internal temporal realities to external eternal values. We can look away from our bellies and strive not for comforts of the creature, but the cares of the Creator: his kingdom where his will is done on earth as in heaven; and his righteousness where all people as the psalmist says: [are] like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.” Psalm 1:3 Where the relationship between God and humans, and among God's people is right, true, and just.

The prayer following this entry moves from the big bang world view to good God world view. From worry and thanks about me and mine to consideration of all of the Creator's children. From our food, our friends, our job, our health, our surroundings and our rest from our labors, to the hungry, the lonely, the jobless, the sick, the earth, and God's work to be done.

The big bang world tells us that what we have in this world while we are alive is all that we will ever have. The Good God world view tells us there is something to seek beyond this world; a set of standards that is other worldly.

In Big Bang we want to gather more and more here on earth and are thankful when we do. Our thanks stops at our bellies. For us and now are all there is. The Good God world tells us there is meaning beyond us and now. There is meaning beyond our life and the things we need to preserve it.

I imagine God calling an account of church's life. What have you done with what we have given you? Well, we kept the building well-maintained, the carpets new, and the place clean. That may be expected for the Big Bang Bunch but the Good God Group needs to go beyond. I would want to tell God that we wore out two sets of carpet due to the running feet of children who need a safe place to stay during the day. I would be proud to say we wore out the whole church serving the people of Akron! While it wouldn't be a source of thanksgiving here if we did that, in the Big Bang world where everything that counts is here, it would be a source of thanksgiving in the next world of Good God which this life is but a prelude, not a complete opus.

If this is all there is, if Big Bang is right, worry is all around us. We have a limited time to grab all the gusto we can. We might miss something. If Good God is right, we have more to worry about than the momentary pleasures and brief distractions of this world, we have a part to play in the eternal good plan of God, where justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24).

Another freedom from worry is that the second world view, Good God, has a different final chapter in the story we are writing together. I sometimes tell folks who see the world getting worse that I have peeked at the last chapter of the story and God wins! Somehow, God bends everything to his good will. God has no enemies because even those who work against God, by God's providence, are ultimately part of his good and graceful plan and purpose.

Last Monday, I was eating at Julian's, and he called out to me the good news that the Steelers had finally won! I told him not to tell me anything more because I hadn't watched the game yet. He didn't tell me anything else other than it was a good game. So I watched the game with a lot less yelling and gasps because I knew who won. I didn't know how or by how much, but I knew despite the injuries, missed field goals, penalties…the Steelers will win, I didn't have to worry. Neither to Christians, God wins. I don't know the score, I don't know how close it will be, I don't know about the setbacks and heartbreaks on the way…but I do know God will win.

We are constantly in danger of making this world the only world. We fight against that temptation when we do things that only make sense in a Good God world view. Striving for others, planting trees that won't bear fruit until long after you are gone, helping children who we may never see in the pews of any church, doesn't make sense in the Big Bang world, but it does make sense in the loving Good God world.

Strive to live in the Good God world, thankful that we hunger and thirst for righteousness and not just food and drink, free from worry because you know the final score.

Copyright © 2006 Advanced permission is given for non-profit, for-prophet use of the above at no charge as long as it is reproduced unedited with notices and copyright intact. Written copies are provided after they are preached as a courtesy for the personal, private, appreciative use of the congregation of Goodyear Heights Presbyterian Church, their families and friends to support the ministry of Goodyear Heights Presbyterian Church and its pastor the Rev. J. Christy Ramsey. Join us Sundays! 8:15 Traditional Worship and 10:15 Blended. Mingle in our Gathering Room between services and take advantage of Christian Education opportunities.

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