Seek first the Kingdom

Saints of Calvin Presbyterian Church,

We find ourselves in a time of trouble; a time of anxiety, fear, and of doubt. The worries and concerns of God’s people might be slightly different in nature but are united by the immediacy of their worry. Some might be concerned about their own health; others may be concerned about the well-being of an elderly relative or a friend who is a medical professional.  Some might fear tomorrow’s bill because they have lost their income; still others worry about their retirement, as a troubled economy casts uncertainty over tomorrow. Worse still, we might be tempted to believe that our worries don’t matter; that God will not concern Himself with our fears.

But in Matthew 6, God in Christ specifically addresses our fears.  He tells us that He knows that we need them (v32), and that He is able to provide for them (v30). Should we doubt, He reminds us that we need only to look at the birds He feeds and grass He clothes and remember that He values us more than them (v25-29). He did not, after all, shed His blood to justify the birds and the grass.

And then God graciously gives us a directive on how to act when we are anxious and afraid. 

Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness.”

We rebel in our hearts and minds: surely first I should look to the concerns of this world. Surely first I should worry about the market. Surely first I should struggle with my job. Surely first I should panic about health care. Surely first I should grow frustrated with the insanity of the world around me. 

Against these lies, Christ says: Seek first the Kingdom of God. Seek His righteousness.   

Are you concerned about your 401k? Seek first the Kingdom of God. Seek first Christ in prayer –in the morning, in the noonday, in the evening. Are you concerned about your job? Seek first the Kingdom of God. Seek first Christ in His word –read it, pray on it, memorize it.

Are you concerned about your health? Seek first the Kingdom of God. Seek first Christ in His body –in the encouragement, kindness, challenges, and support of the saints (yes, even over email or the phone!) Are you concerned about your life?  Brothers and sisters, all of our life is to seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness. And that is the greatest possible antidote to the Coronavirus because it means your life is more than the food you eat, and the clothes you wear (v25). It’s more than your job, your future, and your status.  It is not something you can lose; it is not something the Coronavirus, or your employer, or the stock market can take away from you. Your life is Christ’s. In return, He asks you –today– to turn from your worry and seek first His kingdom. I’ll end with a quote from one of my favorite books:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

What will you do with this time that is given to you?

—David Schexnayder, Administrator


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