8 day plan

Hope in a Time of Disaster

Day 1 of 8

Matthew 6:25-34

The Cure for Anxiety

25“Therefore I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? 27Can any of you add one moment to his life span by worrying? 28And why do you worry about clothes? Observe how the wildflowers of the field grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these. 30If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t he do much more for you — you of little faith? 31So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat? ’ or ‘What will we drink? ’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. 34Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Reflection: Christ’s call ‘not to worry’, is not about having an absence of worries. The focus of the passage is not worrying about the material things of life.  We are called to capture the vision of the Kingdom of God, where all join in working for the common good, just as the early Church lived out and which we hear about in Acts. As we so often see in natural disasters, communities rally together to look after those in need. This is perhaps a natural embracing of being made in the image of God.  May we all find ways to be generous in our giving of ourselves and our resources as we seek to live the love of Jesus into the world.

Prayer:

Today, Christ,
We are worried,
For there are many troubles,
More than enough,
Which so many are facing.
We are not seeking more stuff like food and clothing to add to what we already have,
But we pray for those who do not have enough,
Those continuing under the oppression of poverty,
Those facing an uncertain future in the wake of natural disaster,
Fires,
Floods,
Famines
And drought.
We are worried for those whose lives might be lost,
Those who are potential victims of suffering,
And those who are prepared to lay down their lives to serve and save others.
We are worried for those whose grief is great,
And whose mental health and wellbeing is under threat.
So, trying not to be anxious,
We name our worries,
We are thankful for your presence and compassion,
And that you are at work in the world.
We bring all these people and worries to you in prayer and petition,
Looking to your peace,
Which passes all understanding,
To guard our hearts and minds in this trying time.
This day, we pray.
Amen

Days

Matthew 6:1-34

How to Give

1“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. Otherwise, you have no reward with your Father in heaven. 2So whenever you give to the poor, don’t sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be applauded by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. 3But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

How to Pray

5“Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. 6But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7When you pray, don’t babble like the Gentiles, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. 8Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask him.

The Lord’s Prayer

9“Therefore, you should pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,

your name be honored as holy.

10Your kingdom come.

Your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

11Give us today our daily bread.

12And forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13And do not bring us into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.

14“For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. 15But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your offenses.

How to Fast

16“Whenever you fast, don’t be gloomy like the hypocrites. For they disfigure their faces so that their fasting is obvious to people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that your fasting isn’t obvious to others but to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

God and Possessions

19“Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness, how deep is that darkness!

24“No one can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

The Cure for Anxiety

25“Therefore I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? 27Can any of you add one moment to his life span by worrying? 28And why do you worry about clothes? Observe how the wildflowers of the field grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these. 30If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t he do much more for you — you of little faith? 31So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat? ’ or ‘What will we drink? ’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. 34Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.