The California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church

Lent 2018: Day Twelve

Luke 12:32

Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

This passage is preceded by a whole paragraph of Jesus saying, “do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body . . . Consider the lilies . . . God [will do much more] for you.” The message seems to be clear: have faith, trust in the Lord, and God will provide. And we know that’s true. . . . God has provided in the past. . . . God will provide in the future. Logically we know we do not need to worry.

But, it’s hard not to worry, especially when there is a lot to be afraid of, when the world is full of danger, and when we seem to be headed in the wrong direction with no end in sight. I don’t even need to list the fears in front of us right now. You know them too well. And they are overwhelming.

But this one sentence in Luke seems to suggest that, rather than being based on our imperfect faith, our redemption is based on God’s perfect goodness. It is God’s “pleasure to give you the kingdom.” The Common English version says God “delights in giving you the kingdom.” We don’t need to be afraid, not because we trust that God is powerful, and caring, and has saved us before. We don’t need to be afraid because it makes God happy to care for us.

What a wonderful way to reframe our world and all its uncertainties. We honor God by letting God give us the kingdom. We glorify God by acknowledging we don’t have to have all the answers. We give God joy by following God to greener pastures.

Do not be afraid, little ones, because God’s going to have a good time taking care of us!

I’m ready, God! Come take care of me!

Prayer: Steadfast God, we give thanks for your faithfulness through all our fears. We trust in your goodness and find comfort in your love. We promise to let go of our worries, so that you can have fun saving us. Amen.

Rev. Amy Wake
Trinity UMC of Pearl City
Hawaii District