25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Materialism is the overemphasis of the importance of physical, material things.
Madonna sung that we are living in a material world, but our culture is so immersed in materialism that it’s actually easy to miss how much we emphasise the importance of material things. Even though I don’t agree with materialism, and I try hard not to be overly consumeristic, it’s easy for me to slide into the natural flow of acting like there is no spiritual reality to the world I live in.
In Australia, we are experiencing some of the greatest material wealth of any society in human history, yet poverty still exists in my neighbourhood. Even for those who don’t experience technical poverty, anxiety about money is common. While I don’t find myself worrying constantly about having enough, many of my decisions in life have been shaped by the importance of financial security and being able to provide for my family.
Here in today’s passage, Jesus gives the antidote to poverty and anxiety tied to material things. He says we should seek first the Kingdom of God.
Lord, help us to remain focused on what is meant to be first in our priorities, and rescue us from the temptation of materialism.
Written by Ps. Justin Ware