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Posts Tagged ‘Matt 6:25’

I received some great gifts for Mothers’ Day, among them a fantastic Boston pocket umbrella. Sadly, my precious Liberty umbrella from Harrods in London had finally died, so I wanted one that would be equally noteworthy. And that’s exactly what I got. My new umbrella is a lovely amethyst colour and when folded up in its neat, rectangular carry-case, measures all of seventeen centimetres. I admired its special features and then opened the tiny booklet that came with it to find out more.

Congratulations on your purchase. You are obviously a person of fine judgement’, I read first off. Hmm, I would agree with that – well, at least my daughter is! I continued on. Most of the instructions were serious, but here are some I laughed aloud over:

  • Do not use in the event of storm, hurricane, typhoon or serious climatic disturbance. If you do, your Original Pocket Umbrella may break and then you will be very upset!
  • Please remember this is not a toy and you are not Mary Poppins. Do not use it to fly, float, swing, dance or other bizarre activity for which it is not designed.
  • Do not throw the case away. How would you like it if someone threw your home away?

And as for the one year guarantee, here’s what it says:

The guarantee does not include damage which results from misuse or accident. We strongly recommend that you avoid opening it in a crowded lift, using it to play ‘fetch’ with Fido the dog, or sitting in it while rowing to China. In these cases we are sorry to say your warranty is null and void!

Obviously someone at the Boston Umbrella Company has a sense of humour. But as I later reflected on these fun instructions, it occurred to me that when it comes to God’s instructions, many of us take these with a similar ‘grain of salt’ as the examples above, if not laugh at them outright. Surely Jesus was a little ‘tongue in cheek’ when he declared we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matt 6:44)? Or surely he didn’t mean that being angry with our brother is just as bad as murdering him (Matt 5:21-22)? What a joke! As for lustful glances being equivalent to committing adultery (Matt 5:27) – don’t be ridiculous! And how can we not worry about what we will eat or drink or wear, as Jesus suggested (Matt 6:25)? Surely, that one’s for the birds! As to becoming great by serving others (Matt 20:25-28), that’s never going to get anyone anywhere in life.

But Jesus wasn’t joking. We can’t merely laugh off his commands as far too naive or impractical – or even unfair. One day we will all find out he meant exactly what he said. And one day we will all see clearly the wisdom and truth of his commands.

Well, I’m not about to risk my life floating to China in my new umbrella – but I am prepared to stake my life on Jesus and his teachings. And when Jesus gives a guarantee that those who believe in him will have eternal life, I know this guarantee will hold good. And I also know God delights to shelter me from the storms of this life and will watch over me forever (Isaiah 25:4; Psalm 91:1).

Now that’s some umbrella – don’t you think?

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