From the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6, 9, & Luke 12)
Wherever Jesus went, lots of people went, too. They loved being near him. Old people. Young people. All kinds of people came to see Jesus. Sick people. Well people. Happy people. Sad people. And worried people. Lots of them. Worrying about lots of things. What if we don’t have enough food? Or clothes? Or suppose we run out of money? What if there isn’t enough? And everything goes wrong? And we won’t be all right? What then?
When Jesus saw all the people, his heart was filled with love for them. They were like a little flock of sheep that didn’t have a shepherd to take care of them. So Jesus sat them all down and he talked to them.
The people sat quietly on the grassy mountainside and listened. From where they sat, they could see the blue lake glittering below them and little fishing boats coming in from a night’s catch. The spring air was fresh and clear.
“See those birds over there?” Jesus said.
Everyone looked. Little sparrows were pecking at seeds along the
“Where do they get their food? Perhaps they have pantries all stocked up? Cabinets full of food?”
Everyone laughed—who’s ever seen a bird with a bag of groceries?
“No,” Jesus said. “They don’t need to worry about that. Because God knows what they need and he feeds them.”
“And what about these wild flowers?”
Everyone looked. All around them flowers were growing. Anemones, daises, pure white lilies.
“Where do they get their lovely clothes? Do they make them? Or do they go to work every day so they can buy them? Do they have closets full of clothes?”
Everyone laughed again—Who’s ever seen a flower putting on a dress?
“No,” Jesus said. “They don’t need to worry about that because God clothes them in royal robes of splendor! Not even a king is that well dressed!”
They had never met a king but, as they gazed out over the lake, glittering and sparkling below them, the hillsides dressed in reds, purples, and golds, they felt a great burden lift from their hearts. They could not imagine anything more beautiful.
“Little flock,” Jesus said, “you are more important than birds! More important than flowers! The birds and the flowers don’t sit and worry about things. And God doesn’t want his children to worry either. God loves to look after the birds and the flowers. And he loves to look after you, too.”
Jesus knew that God would always love and watch over the world he had made—everything in it—birds, flowers, trees, animals, everything! And most of all, his children.
Even though people had forgotten, the birds and the flowers hadn’t forgotten—they still knew their song. It was the song of all God’s creation had sung to him from the very beginning. It was the song people’s hearts were made to sing: “God made us. He loves us. He is very pleased with us.”
It was why Jesus had come into the world: to sing them that wonderful song; to sing it not only with his voice, but with his whole life—so that God’s children could remember it and join in and sing it, too.