Two for the price of one this week:
1. Midweek Prayer
19:00 – 19.30
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Meeting ID: 873 1508 3655
2. Midweek Mardle
As we head in to June we have a return of the weather of May last year. After Staff Team meeting in the morning I took a break from the computer yesterday afternoon and when not lopping branches off our neighbour’s conifer hedge I took the odd break and found a shady spot to contemplate. All seemed good with the world as I looked up and saw white gulls circling high up in a blue sky and vitamin D levels were topped up. It was probably slightly too warm and humid for my liking but given the days of late when I was forced to be indoors being outside was something that had to be done. I was being sensible about life.
Being and doing, two essential parts of what should mark our lives as followers of Christ. The classic reference in the Bible is to the sisters Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42), one being still, listening to Jesus, the other doing all the preparations to welcome a guest. Mary, in being, is said to have chosen the better path. There are a number of contexts here. Jesus knows his earthly life is limited so there is an importance in as many people as possible taking the opportunity to listen and understand his message. There may be, also, a cultural angle with Martha doing what was expected of her, complying with the norms rather like some of the Jews who felt that following the rules and regulations was all that was needed.
Yet what was there about the choosing of the better path? I don’t think Jesus is saying Martha is wrong in her doing, but that it’s timing is misplaced. I would also suggest that focusing on the being – being closer to Jesus – will act as the grounding for the doing. Being involves stillness, reflection, putting aside the cares of the day and allowing the Holy Spirit to direct our thoughts. It involves reading and gaining a greater understanding of the Bible and spending prayer time with others or simply sitting chatting with others. everyday things in life but with Jesus in mind.
In Matthew 6:33 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised) we’re reminded where our focus should be:
33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
In his letter to the people of Ephesus, Paul has this to say:
Ephesians 2:8-10 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. Be still in the presence of the Lord and go out to serve in love as our loving God has done.