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“Don’t be afraid, little flock”

January 3, 2022

Daily Scripture

Luke 12:22-32

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Therefore, I say to you, don’t worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23 There is more to life than food and more to the body than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither plant nor harvest, they have no silo or barn, yet God feeds them. You are worth so much more than birds! 25 Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life [Or eighteen inches to your height]? 26 If you can’t do such a small thing, why worry about the rest? 27 Notice how the lilies grow. They don’t wear themselves out with work, and they don’t spin cloth. But I say to you that even Solomon in all his splendor wasn’t dressed like one of these. 28 If God dresses grass in the field so beautifully, even though it’s alive today and tomorrow it’s thrown into the furnace, how much more will God do for you, you people of weak faith! 29 Don’t chase after what you will eat and what you will drink. Stop worrying. 30 All the nations of the world long for these things. Your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, desire his kingdom and these things will be given to you as well. 32 “Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights in giving you the kingdom.

Did You Know?

In worship Sunday, we observed a Methodist tradition by praying John Wesley’s covenant prayer. If you couldn’t join worship, or would like to have a printable version of the prayer, click here. You can pray the prayer individually or with others as you move into 2022 with God.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

“Don’t be afraid” was a common Bible command, and one of the hardest to follow. This New Year, we tend to worry, whether about cars that wear out, bills we need to pay, small questions like “What’s for lunch?” or big problems like ongoing Covid disruptions. Our minds may know research says (like Jesus in verse 25) that worry doesn’t help. But still we worry. Jesus pointed beyond this world, saying, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”

  • Our culture says, “Stand on your own two feet.” “Little flock” had a different ring: “The flock can also be an image of vulnerability. Thus we find the disciples called a ‘little flock’ that needs to be commanded to ‘fear not’ (Lk 12:32)….the flock is an apt picture of the combined people of God under his care.” * How easy or hard is it for you to trust God’s care for you more than your own efforts? Are you okay with being one of God’s “flock,” not just a free-standing individual?
  • If you apply Jesus’ wisdom (“There is more to life than food and more to the body than clothing”) in your 2022 everyday life, what priorities would rise? Which might drop lower? Scholar N. T. Wright said “This wasn’t just good advice on how to live a happy, carefree life. This was a challenge to the very center of [our] world.” ** Can you really trust that your heavenly Father will love and care for you not just now, but through all eternity? How would it alter your mindset to deeply trust that?

Lord Jesus, you called yourself the good Shepherd, willing even to give your life for your flock. I thank you for your tender care for me, both now and in eternity. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of  Kersee Meyer

Kersee Meyer

Kersee is a part of the Resurrection Experience team at the church and works alongside other creative folks to make videos to connect people to community, their faith and God.

Reading this passage, at first, makes me feel more worried and anxious. There is so much that we can worry about. Especially after everything that’s happened in the last few years. If you’re like me, I just struggle with this passage.

I get what it’s telling me.

  • Stop worrying
  • God wants to and will take care of us

The intentionality I feel here is so meaningful. Then why don’t I allow God’s peace and comfort to stop my worrying dead in its tracks?

Here is my theory. God gave us the ability to worry/feel anxiety/fear to protect us. Allowing us to know when we’re truly in danger or need to go into fight or flight mood. Hillary McBride, therapist, researcher, speaker, and writing, spoke about this during the Inspired for Life Women’s Conference in 2018. It’s stuck with me ever since.

The problem arises when we allow worry to become debilitating. We can spend hours worrying about things we can’t control. If I’m listening more to my worries and fear, then it’s distracting me from God. This year I pray that we all allow ourselves to stop worrying about the things we can’t control. Focus on all the ways God is showing us his heavenly kingdom here on earth.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Article “Flock” in Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit and Tremper Longman III, general editors, Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998, p. 293.

** N. T. Wright, Luke for Everyone. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004, p. 153.