Perhaps one of the most oft-quoted sections of the Sermon on the Mount
is the one containing these words.
And I have a confession to make:
they have always bugged me a little.
There. I've said it.
New Testament red letter words bug me sometimes.
Until I studied it in some detail a couple of years ago,
the gospel of John was the red letter book
that bugged me the most.
Jesus speaks so circuitously there -
round and round, repeating the same words, the same ideas,
using language that seems almost intentionally vague,
open to a wide variety of interpretation.
Does Jesus ever bug you?
Do you sometimes wish that he would speak
just a wee bit more plainly,
maybe using fewer metaphors that require
a Bible dictionary to understand and appreciate?
Like this one, for example.
Comparing us - human beings made in the image
or our Creator - to a bunch of field flowers?
OF COURSE, they neither toil nor spin -
They're not complex and complicated like we are -
they're simple plants,
with the DNA to bloom built right into them.
They can't choose their 'look.'
Even the time and season when they
burst into their riotous profusion of grace and color
are pre-determined, set by their very nature.
They CAN'T worry about what they look like -
they don't have it in them.
They're made to bloom,
in whatever shade, hue, size, shape their
DNA strand tells them to do.
Uh...wait a minute, here.
Wait just a dad-gummed minute!
Do you see what just happened?
Those red letter words, with their
seemingly inappropriate metaphorical comparisons,
began to jump and vibrate right off the page.
Anyone else notice that?
Do you suppose that's what Jesus had in mind?
An eloquent word picture, taken directly from
the materials at hand - flowers in the field,
waving in the breeze,
shining their beautiful faces at the
"Take at look at these beauties, my friends.
They're doing what they're designed to do.
And they're not anxious about it,
they're not trying to overthink it,
they're not worried about what the flower
next door might think,
they're not concerned if that clump over there
has a few more blooms, or has a deeper layer of color.
Why do you spin your wheels so furiously?
Why do you choose to make it so much more
complicated than it has to be?
Why spend your energy on so many extraneous details?
"Be who you are designed to be.
Look at the DNA strand within,
the one given you by my Father and your Father.
And then bloom, bloom, bloom -
no matter what size or shape or season of life you are in.
You have all you need to be the best you in this world.
Look to the lilies."
Do you see what I mean about Jesus really bugging me sometimes??
also joining with Emily at "Imperfect Prose" this week: