Good for the earth and good for our souls
In Sunday's passage from Matthew, sustainability is a good thing in the spiritual life.
At first glance, Jesus’ words in this passage aren’t about sustainability. Rather, they seem to be an admonition against worrying and an instruction about trust and getting one’s priorities straight, seeking first the kingdom of God.
But when we hear Jesus say life is more than food and body, more than clothing, we realize He’s talking about something larger than how we function in the immediate moment. He’s talking about seeing beyond the present moment and its anxieties. We should live in such a way that we can face tomorrow confident that God will sustain us as much then as he does now.
To say it a different way, the spiritual life is about sustainability in that it allows us to function today without using up all the resources God provides.
It’s good for us to hear that. Many of us started our spiritual lives on a high point.
But as we’ve gone on, perhaps we’ve found that even the feet-firmly-on-the-ground sort of Christianity also seems unsustainable. Although we may continue to show up in church on Sunday morning, it may be more out of routine than anticipation. And if pushed about it, we might even confess that the faith we once experienced as fire we now experience as dust. That’s not an uncommon state of being for Christians who’ve been on the way for a while.