The Beauty of Balance
Our Scriptures for Sunday morning were from Colossians 1:15-28 and Luke 10:38-42, the story of Martha and Mary. Recently, if you watched any of the Women’s Olympic Gymnastic trials, you would have watched the amazing feats of these athletes on the balance beam. It is 4 inches wide and they were flipping and rolling and jumping and yet keeping extreme balance. If their balance became off even the slightest bit, they fell off the beam. Their ability, which is amazing, comes through practice, practice, practice!
The word balance is an interesting word. It means to have stability, to have harmony, to have mental and emotional steadiness. AS we first looked at the Colossians passage the emphasis was on the truth of Jesus Christ holding everything in control–all things are held together by him. When you consider the immensity of the universe and how it is held together by God’s power, it is humbling to think that each of us as well is held together by God’s power and love.
Enter now into the story of Martha and Mary. (See also John 12:1-3) Martha is frantically trying to get a meal on the table and becomes very frustrated that her sister Mary is not helping. Mary has taken the posture of a disciple and is sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to his words. The Gospel of John also tells us she had taken expensive perfume and in a gesture of worship has placed oil on Jesus’ feet and is wiping it with her hair. Martha complains to Jesus about Mary not assisting her and questions the Lord’s care in the situation. But Jesus challenged Martha and her attitude and expressed that Mary was doing the one thing that was needful.
Imagine you are working in your church and not getting the help you need because everyone else is taking the time for worship! Perhaps this story is deeper than it seems.
There are so many things in life (good and bad) that can distract us from true worship, distract us from taking the time to “sit at the feet of Jesus” and pour out our love to him.
There are so many things in our contemporary lives that people find it almost impossible to sit and listen to the Spirit’s voice speaking to their hearts the word of the Lord. In many ways the church has adopted the norm of our culture that values productivity and busyness over reflection and listening.
There are times in our personal lives and the life of the church that we need to re-balance. In this text Jesus is saying that listening and learning from him as as important as all the chores we do to make the home and church a working unit.
In the end, Luke’s story is about paying attention to God’s Word. As the church, our confession would be that in Christ God has come near. He is the one that holds everything together, the is the one who bridged the gap between sin and reconciliation. Jesus comes near through the Holy Spirit, he comes near through the Word of God.
How long has it been since you have been a Mary? How long has it been since you have “sat at his feet and poured our your love” to him? Like our USA Gymnastic Team, how much “practice” have you put into having a balance in your spiritual life?
The beauty of balance is growth and a more intimate relationship with Jesus. Maybe it’s time to re-center, re-balance and sit at the feet of Jesus for a while!