Jesus Was Serious

Rev. Jonathon Clinesmith
Associate Pastor of Discipleship Connections

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”- Matthew 6:34

Even people with deep faith, incredible prayer lives and a high regard for Scripture can find it hard to take Jesus literally when he commands us not to worry. We tend to treat it as a suggestion or a best practices memo. Not worrying seems like good advice, not a practical reality. But Jesus was serious. Worry can rob us of our present by placing us into a tomorrow that doesn’t yet exist. So many health issues in our nation- both mental and physical- can be traced back to unchecked anxiety wreaking havoc on our lives.

I often preach best what I need to hear most, and this is no different. I’ve been worried. And let’s face it, there seems to be a lot to worry about these days. The weather has led to cancellations, utility outages and hardships for many. On Monday we discovered a pipe had broken at the church. Some of the offices were flooded. These are all disruptions that are hard to ignore. From a worldly point of view, it makes sense to be worried.

And yet we need not fear tomorrow, for God is already there. God is with us now, and God will be present in our future. And we will be adaptive with the resources we have to work according to God’s purposes.

We are finding creative ways to worship even in the midst of the snow and ice and the flooded offices. Our Ash Wednesday service will be streaming tomorrow at 6:30pm, with Rev. Marilynn offering the homily. Though it may seem strange to celebrate this particular worship service without being able to physically impose the ashes on each other, we know that the Spirit of God is present and at work in each of our lives.

The flooding crisis is being handled well thanks to a quick response from our staff, trustees, and volunteers. Special thanks to those who made it to the church to help. Although the Great Hall may be filled with furniture for a few weeks, and some of us will have to office from different locations, the urgency of the crisis is over and things will be back to normal soon enough.

We know God is working. We know that Chapel Hill has a strong future ahead in reaching the hurting, the broken, and the lost with the deep, abiding love of Jesus Christ.

In the meantime, we have a wonderful opportunity to take Jesus at his word. We have the opportunity to choose faith over worry.

God’s peace and much love to you,

Jonathon Clinesmith

Associate Pastor of Discipleship Connections