Interesting timing. I actually preached on parts of these chapters of Luke but they are placed as part of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6. “Do not worry”…those are the words of Jesus. Don’t worry about your life, what you will wear, what you will eat, etc. Um…ok. Really? I know lots of people for whom that’s the reality for them – not knowing whether they will have enough money for rent, whether there will be enough food, will they be able to pay their electric? Don’t worry? Um…sure.
As I read that section back in Matthew, I started looking at what came before it which is where Jesus talks about the eye being the lamp of the body (Luke has it in 11:33-36). There Jesus is recorded as saying, “Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light; but if it is not healthy, your body is full of darkness.” So it reminded me of what the aperture of a camera does….
The aperture controls the amount of light that the lens lets in for an exposure. The larger the aperture, the more light is let in. The funny thing though is that in a camera, the larger the aperture…the less the depth of field. So what does that mean? It means that one of those shots where the main subject is in crisp focus but the rest of the shot is blurry. When you have that, the subject really “pops” out of the background. So, when you let more light in, strangely it makes the rest of the shot not as clear. It is weird but that’s how it works.
So what does this have to do with these passages? When we move away from just an idea of “change your focus” (which is what people often say to people who are worrying) and instead see what we can do to adjust our aperture, it becomes how much we let God in. Are we allowing more of the things of God come in rather than a he worries of life?
Now that doesn’t eliminate the worries but it brings them into perspective with the rest of life. It allows us to see them through the lens of the divine. And what a difference that can make.
If you want to hear my sermons that I preached around this, click here
Don’t Worry Part 1 – A focus on how we are called to help others not have to worry
Don’t Worry Part 2 – How a change of aperture can transform how we experience the things we worry about