They neither labour, nor do they spin
Consider how the lilies grow. I’ve been wrestling with the meaning of this advice from Luke, where Jesus addresses his “little flock” with several examples to encourage them not to worry so much about the future. “Consider the ravens; they do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barns; yet God feeds them.” (Former residents of Thompson may share a more basic impression of how ravens--aka Thompson Turkeys--are fed.) It’s all in Luke 12: 22 - 31, which is the text for the sermon I’m scheduled to deliver in a couple of hours. As usual, it’s a part of my immediate future that worries me. Ravens and lilies don’t have to get up in front of people to speak.
Here, in summary, is what I intend to present. If you are a member of Eigenheim Mennonite, you can read the below and snooze through the sermon.
1) Jesus asked his disciples to consider how the lilies grow so they would stop letting their worries govern their choices. Lilies don’t work, they don’t weave clothing, they don’t wear cosmetics and still -- with only the attributes God has given them -- their beauty makes Solomon look like a mud fence in comparison!
2) We can learn much by attuning ourselves to the signs of God’s creation around us and focusing less on the wonders of our own technology.
3) The short life of a lily bloom echoes our own lamentations about the brevity of our lives. Although brief, no lily’s life is pointless. Even passing beauty is marvellous.
4) Baird’s Sparrows, Sprague’s Pipits, Meadowlarks, and the Red Western Lily are very fragile remnants of Creation. If they are not worth protecting, then is any of God’s creation worth our concern? We need to address our habits of carelessness with the natural world.
5) The lily can teach us humility. We can accept ourselves as we are made, be thankful for it and stop wasting our time trying to be something we’re not. We need to free ourselves to bloom as we are.