And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Luke 12:22-31
When we moved to Sitka, a little over a month ago, one of the first things we were struck by was the overwhelming presence of ravens. We love to casually bird watch and had come from a town which is designated a bird sanctuary. Ravens have some significance for us, as we spent a good deal of our lives in Baltimore. Between Poe and the present Baltimore football team, ravens do have so great meaning for us. They are everywhere here and quite vocal. Their range of sound and music is quite extensive and their presence can be quite intense when they gather in the stark winter tree branched, hunching shoulders and staring directly at us.
The disciples are an anxious lot, just like us, just like the rest of humanity. And Jesus tells them not to worry, that God tenderly cares for the ravens and the lilies and in doing so, cares significantly more for all of us. In the aftermath of a storm such as the east coast has experienced, it might be hard to hear these words. And yet, there is comfort in hearing that we are cared for, despite the challenges we face and despite the circumstances we are found in. We are invited to deepen our faith by seeking after God, even in the midst of need and anguish, with the expectation that God will provide for us and love will flourish around us and within us.
Today, I ask God for special blessings for all those suffering from the ravages of this storm and from the challenges of life. May those of us who are able offer what ever we have for the restoration and renewal of others. May we seek God's reign and offer ourselves and all that we have for the healing of our communities. And may God use each of us as agents of love and healing in each of our small corners of this broken world.