Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 21: Year 1
“For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well;” (Matthew 6:32 and 33)
We have a hymn in one of our Hymnals, “Seek Yee First the Kingdom of God” (1982 Hymnal, # 711). It uses Matthew 6:33 as its focus. These words are sung with a lot of feeling. But do they ever last in our hearts?
I recall that our Lord gave Solomon the wisdom he asked for and then added to his gift of wisdom, riches, and long life, which he did not ask for. Our God is generous and loving. All we have to do is put God and our community first, that is, ahead of ourselves.
Jesus says that our Father knows that we need, “all these things,” the provisions necessary for us to be sustained and more than that, to be communal with one another, and God is pleased to provide them.. Today we really need food, shelter, clothing, and we also need transportation and communication ability. We are a needy lot. I think that’s why the words “all these things,” were spoken by our Lord. We would fill in the “things” later.
Let us not forget the most important point here. We must make God first. Once we make God number one, all else will fall into place. We must start thinking eternally now in this life. Only then will the little temporal things like food, shelter, clothing, transportation and communication fall into their insignificant little places. The eternal thing, that is, love in the Presence of God, will never end. Let this last forever in your hearts.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John