And you, do not seek after what you might eat and what you might drink, and do not fret. For these things all the …. peoples of the world seek after; but your Father knows what you have need of. But seek after his Kingdom, and these things will be given you in addition. Do not be afraid, little flock, because your Father has delighted to give you the Kingdom. (The New Testament, A Translation, David Bentley Hart)
I was given a lottery ticket for my birthday. Not knowing what to do with it, I left it on my desk for months. A friend was over and scanned it with her phone. I got to play again so went to a variety store to “play again” and was instructed to say “yes” when the machine asked, “do you want to play Encore”? It cost a buck more and I won nothing next time.
It feels like add-ons are a constant part to life. We buy a phone, appliance, car rental or a meal and the “Would you like extended warranty, insurance or fries?” questions inevitably follow. The add-ons are more important to the seller than the actual product.
Jesus was conscious in his day that life was more than the accumulation of “add-ons”. Greed for money, power, recognition, food, drink, stimulus, acceptance and comfort was as central to his culture as ours.
He calls us still today not to accumulate the “add-ons” but care about justice, poverty, loving God and neighbour. He was confident that “these things” will be given you in addition. Achievement, power, recognition, clothes and food cannot be the sum total of our identity. They are gifts from the God who loves us and entrusts us with them for the good of all.
A Prayer for Today
Loving God, you know me. I love stuff, recognition, comfort and good food and drink. I’m not sure how well I put kingdom first in my life. I don’t want my life to be the sum total of the “add-ons”. Grant me your wisdom and mercy to be a good steward of all the generous gifts you have given and keep me conscious of the needs and brokenness around me …. For Jesus sake