Eleven More to Go                     by Pastor Karen

This new year is flying by. As I write this, there are only five more days until February begins. Only eleven more months until this year is gone. How will we fill those days and months? What will we do today? Sometimes it feels like life is slipping away. However, we can choose to see each day or even each hour as God’s gift to us. Sometimes, though we may spend our lives filled with worry, consumed by fear. If we look to Jesus, we find he wasn’t a fan of worry. He lived each day with purpose and met each need presented to him.

When Jesus was on the way to heal Jairus’ little girl,  a woman silently touched the hem of his robe and felt her bleeding cease. Jesus would not continue until he found her and made sure she knew that it was her faith, in reaching out to him, that healed her. Then he went on to Jairus’ home. (Mark 5:22-34) Who do we need to stop and listen to and encourage today?

When some mothers came to Jesus so he could bless their children, the disciples wouldn’t hear of it. Jesus said to them, let the little ones come to me for such is the Kingdom of God. (Mark 10:13-14) I can just imagine Jesus holding and blessing each one. What little ones do you need to remember or bless them so they might know how special they are to Jesus?

One day when it was late and Jesus had been teaching a large crowd all day, his disciples were tired and they were sure that the people were tired too. They urged Jesus to send them away to find food. Instead, Jesus knew these folks needed to eat before they left, so he encouraged his disciples to feed them. The disciples could not quite wrap their heads around how they would feed 5000 people. Jesus said bring what food you have to me. After Jesus blessed God for the few loaves and fish, they were enough to feed everyone. Then Jesus sent them off home as the disciples collected 12 baskets of left overs. (Mark 6:32-46) Who will we notice today that needs a little extra to make it through the day?

When Jesus visited Martha’s home, she was very busy with all the preparations, Martha wanted Jesus to insist Mary come and help her. Jesus knew that Mary needed to hear what Jesus was teaching. Jesus told Martha that she was worried about so many things but only one thing was necessary. And Mary had chosen the better part and it wouldn’t be taken from her. (Luke 10:38-42) When we are busy and feeling overwhelmed with so many things, Jesus might ask us to look carefully and see, what is most important? Are we choosing to be with Jesus?

When Jesus was preaching the Sermon on the Mount, he talked about worry. He asked why we worry about food or clothes. Can worrying add anything to our lives? Even an hour of life? What he seemed to be saying was that worry takes away our lives! In the process of our fearfulness we are losing our lives. Jesus offers that we are to trust God’s provision because God sees us and knows what we need. Then Jesus said we are to ‘strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matt. 6:33-34 NRS)

How will we strive for the Kingdom today? Remember the Kingdom of God can be found in some of the small things we do – small acts of love and kindness, prayers for others, words of encouragement, noticing those who are least and choosing to love Jesus as we love one another. There’s not a moment to lose!