Double, Double Toil and Trouble

I’m pretty sure that I’ve not ever written for The Daily Cup on Halloween before.  Alas, as I was reading through the Scriptures assigned for today I couldn’t find any of them that were sufficiently spooky.  But I was able to remember how, as a child, I both loved and dreaded Halloween.  I think this dread came from the build up to the annual Halloween parade at my elementary school.  Every year we paraded around the playground (or in the tiny gym if it was raining) showing off our costumes to one another and the assembled parents who busily snapped pictures of us all as we walked by.  Needless to say between the children in my class there was always a bit of rivalry about the costumes–and a good amount of pressure that accompanied that rivalry.

Glencliff Elementary School annual Halloween Parade in Rexford, N.Y. October 31, 2011. (Skip Dickstein/Times Union)

Glencliff Elementary School annual Halloween Parade in Rexford, N.Y. October 31, 2011. (Skip Dickstein/Times Union)

Although I don’t recall an abnormal amount of worry in my childhood, this one day always brought a hefty dose of worry: would my costume (which usually was hand made–with a good bit of help from my mother–and often only a day or so before Halloween) actually come together; would I be able to get the costume on and situated properly for the big parade; would I look cool or dorky in my costume; would my friends think I looked cool or dorky in my costume?  Ah yes, such are the monumental worries of a third grader.


From the Gospel reading for today’s Daily Office come these words from Luke:

“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?”    Luke 12:25-26  


I am not a fan of worrying.  I believe worrying is a bit pointless, and in the end doesn’t help to really accomplish much of anything.  Looks like the Jesus of Luke and I are in agreement on this point.  All the same I sure spend time and expend energy worrying about things.  And something tells me I’m not alone…that as a society we worry.


The point that Jesus is trying to make in this pericope for today (Luke 12:13-31) is that worrying is the way of the world, faith is the way of the believer.  Jesus talks about how those who are in the world worry about what clothes they will wear, what they will eat and drink, but that God loves us so much that we should no longer worry about such trivial things.  We who believe have more important work to do: we are charged to help with the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God.


What does that in-breaking look like and how do we, “strive for the kingdom,” as Jesus puts it?  My bet is that in small ways all over the place we are engaged in this in-breaking.  Perhaps we help simply through the acts of charity and kindness we show others (*Sneeze*, God bless you!); or through the prayers we offer on behalf of those we know are in pain or suffering or grieving; or maybe we help that in-breaking of the Kingdom through how we use our God-given gifts to the benefit of others as my mother did with all of those Halloween costumes she helped me pull together at the last minute.


In Christ’s Name,


About matthewhanisian

Associate Rector at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C.
This entry was posted in The Rev. Matthew R. Hanisian. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Double, Double Toil and Trouble

  1. Eileen says:

    Thank you Mr. Hanisian!

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