Christ’s is a kingdom where people are worth more than sparrows – but where even sparrows are cared for and flowers are well-dressed. “So don’t worry!” Christ says. “I will tend to your needs. You just seek my kingdom. Seek me first, tend to others, and tell them about me. I’ll tend to your needs.”
But that seems a lot easier when things are going well, doesn’t it? With a well-stocked fridge, over-flowing pantry, and a regular paycheck coming in.
Yet it was mostly common, poor folk who followed Christ.
Among the crowd who listened to the Sermon on the Mount, we would certainly have found widows barely getting by, neglected orphans, farmers whose crops had failed, fishermen with empty nets, and the blind, crippled, and lame – reduced to begging in the streets.
Yet the Lord told even them not to worry because their Father knew what they needed. “Don’t worry about these things,” he said. “Your needs will be met.”
And the Lord told even them to tend to his kingdom.
“Trust me,” he said, “even when things are bad. I’ll take care of you. But you tend to my kingdom.”
“Give to the needy and help others,” Christ was saying. “Share fish from your catch, vegetables from your garden. Help the blind and lame get around. No matter how poor you are, you can still help others.
Whether we have little or much, we can still care for others.
As parents barely getting by, we can meet our children’s needs the best we can, and shower them with love. If our fishing nets are empty, we can share our fruits and vegetables. Or when our crops fail, our pay gets cut or just plain disappears, we can still be about the Father’s business – reaching out and encouraging in some way.
I can’t imagine what it’s like to live in constant poverty, with no way out, and I don’t want to make light of such real and desperate plights. But I know the Lord is still saying to all Christ-followers everywhere, “I’ll tend to you. You just tend to my work. Caring for your family. Loving your neighbors. Loving me with all that is within you.
And telling everyone who will listen about a different kind of kingdom. A kingdom with values turned right side up. Where God values people more than sparrows. But where even the sparrows are cared for, and the lilies dress ever so elegantly. Because the Father sees and never forgets.
Whether you live in a hut or in a mansion, are you tending to God’s kingdom work? The kingdom, that according to the world, is totally upside down. But where everything is really the right way?