Last Sunday, I shared an encouragement from Luke 10.
We are to focus on the “being” part of life
as opposed to the “doing” part.
This thought is taken from the Gospel reading from Luke 10:38-42.
It is the story of Martha fulfilling her hostess duties
(which were always done by the women)
and Mary, her sister, neglecting to help Martha
by sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to His teaching.
In that story, Jesus praises Mary for having “chosen the better part.”
This act of being by Mary was something which would
“not be taken away from her.”
The truth is that there is always something to do.
There are groceries to be bought.
Rooms to keep clean.
Bathrooms to scrub.
Bills to pay.
Clocks to be punched.
Cars to fix.
Mini crises to be handled.
There are always things to do.
And those things won’t transfer upon our death.
At the end of life, those things become unremarkable.
To that point, I shared this passage:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”Matthew 6:19-21
In a culture built upon having a good work ethic;
a good “doing ethic,”
this is counterintuitive.
It seems “out of the blue” to suggest that we not do.
That we focus on being.
But that’s the deal.
Because the doing has been done for us.
The incessant need to always perform
and get things right
or be right
Paul says it this way from the Epistle reading:
Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers– all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him—“Colossians 1:15-28
LOTS of doing in that passage.
On our behalf.
So that we can BE.
Be our authentic selves.
Store up “heaven treasure.”
Learn to love more deeply;
And be loved.
Not be stagnant.
Not grind in the same rut that we have been in.
Turn over a new leaf.
Paul sees the goal of the doing part being done by Jesus.
He knows that it is,
“so that we [Paul and his companions] may present everyone mature in Christ.”
James says it this way,
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”James 1:2-4
The result of having “chosen the better part” (like Mary)
Is a life ready to receive the abundance God has for us.
And a life ready to share that abundance too.
Which is found in the community of God
This past Saturday,
Pepsi and I had an opportunity to go to Culbertson Lake.
It was beautiful.
Yesterday we were talking to one of the friends that was with us.
She was complimenting Pepsi on her pictures of the scenery.
She then shared that she had talked to the other three people we were with and remarked that no one had taken any pictures of the six of us together.
(For the Builders and Boomers reading this, it is common to take pictures on our phones of our friends when we are together).
The reason why there were no pictures?
We were enjoying being together.
It was a joy.
It was life-giving.
Which is how life was designed to be but so often is missed because of the heavy emphasis of doing in our culture.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
We don’t have to be this way.
We can lead out.
Encourage good, healthy, intimate relationships.
Invest in those “heaven treasures.”
Share from the abundance given to us with others.