Armodoxy for Today
Worry is not a topic that will be explored once, neither during the Advent season, nor during the rest of the year. Worry is just as reoccurring as a topic as it is as a menace to good health. Worry contributes to stress, a cause of diseases of the mind and body. It was no different in the times of Christ, and of course, even before. Since the beginning of time, when man contemplated his own mortality he succumbed to worry. Whether it was dodging the attack of a vicious animal in the wild, or avoiding a diagnosis of cancer, worry has been a part of the human condition.
We begin to look at worry in the context of our Advent Journey by reading the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, as recorded by St. Luke (12):
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
Striving for his kingdom is the first step toward ridding ourselves of worry. Nice words, and it sounds simple enough, but what does it exactly mean to strive for his kingdom? And how do we do it? The Armenian Church has sung a hymn of praise for the kingdom during times when world governments and principalities have imposed their will on the people. The hymn of victory has been pronounced within the walls of the Church while the sounds of hatred and intolerance were spit upon the exteriors. The simplicity of seeking the Kingdom is held inside Armodoxy and the Advent Journey leads us there.
We pray, Lord, set my heart on Your Kingdom. While worries and fears abound, I look to the birds of the air and the flowers of the field and know that You hold us all in your hand. Let me feel the certainty of our Love. Amen.
I look forward to continuing the Advent Journey with you next time.