Day 51 - 9 May 2020
It isn’t helping our emotional and mental status to have freezing weather with snow on May 9th. This too shall pass. I truly hope that you are all doing well and maintaining a healthy outlook.
Earlier in the week I said I would address the weariness some are having due to so many opinions being offered about the virus and reopening and more. When I offer these thoughts each day to you, I add some personal comments. I have always said that I am not pushing my beliefs on anyone. I offer my thoughts from my personal beliefs and from John Wesley’s quadrilateral – Scripture is primary; tradition, experience and reason (does it make sense).
I believe as Christians, a goal is to live a life that is in balance. I believe Jesus talked about having balance in our lives. “Too often, most of us live a life that is far out of balance – putting the things that are not as important first or letting them tip the scales too far in one direction.” We balance our lives between, work, relaxation, family and faith not necessarily in this order. Our meals are supposed to be a balanced diet (not doing too well with that right now). We need a healthy balance in our lives to be healthy and happy. I believe that our body, mind and soul must be in balance to truly be at peace.
Balance – We might say that in our present circumstances, things are out of balance. Who or what do you listen to for balance in your life right now? Who are what do you trust? If we only listen to one news station, are we getting a balanced picture? If we only pay attention to a single politician, is the information accurate? Sometimes it's necessary to stretch our minds by paying attention to more than one source of information.
For me, I want to hear what the leading scientists have to say about the progression of this virus for the future. I'm not particularly interested in what politicians might say because they don't have the scientific background or information. I expect that not everyone will agree with me about this point of view. But we do need to take in information and run it through our own filters.
For me, I understand that Jesus wants me to have a balanced life. Jesus Christ is the center, the core of my faith. Around that core, I have flexible bands not rigged ones. I learn more and my bands are stretched. Then sometimes I relearn and readjust my bands. I can get so engrossed in my religion that I forget that I live in the world. Besides, if all I do is 100% religious’ activity, I find that my halo has slipped. I then become so heavenly minded that I am no earthly good. I could eat green beans all the time and then I would forget what other foods are good for me.
Once with his disciples, Jesus had to take them away to recharge their batteries. Mark 6:31, 32 “31 Many people were coming and going, so there was no time to eat. He said to the apostles, “Come by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.” 32 They departed in a boat by themselves for a deserted place.
”Balance - Matthew 11:28-30 28 “Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Put on my yoke and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. 30 My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light.”
When the leaders were trying to trick Jesus between keeping the religious laws and the government he replied in Mark 12:17 “17 Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” His reply left them overcome with wonder.”
Balance in John 10:10 “I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.” In Ephesians 5:15 “So be careful to live your life wisely, not foolishly.” In 2 Timothy 1:17 “God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled.” In 2 Peter 3:17-18 “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been warned in advance, be on guard so that you aren’t led off course into the error of sinful people, and lose your own safe position. 18 Instead, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. To him belongs glory now and forever. Amen.” In Ecclesiastes 7:16-1716 “Don’t be too righteous or too wise, or you may be dumbfounded. 17 Don’t be too wicked and don’t be a fool, or you may die before your time.”
And one of the most significant Old Testament passages about balance is in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
A season for everything
“There’s a season for everything
and a time for every matter under the heavens:
2 a time for giving birth and a time for dying,
a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted,
3 a time for killing and a time for healing,
a time for tearing down and a time for building up,
4 a time for crying and a time for laughing,
a time for mourning and a time for dancing,
5 a time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones,
a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces,
6 a time for searching and a time for losing,
a time for keeping and a time for throwing away,
7 a time for tearing and a time for repairing,
a time for keeping silent and a time for speaking,
8 a time for loving and a time for hating,
a time for war and a time for peace.”
I don’t like just quoting one or two verses, so forgive me for that endeavor today.
I said I would address the many opinions and our weariness. I hope I have not added to the weariness you may be feeling. Again, I am not imposing my beliefs on any of you, just sharing.
A bit of humor – “I don’t have a problem with those who disagree with me, they have a perfect right to their ridiculous opinions.”
Gracious and Holy God, we know that your desire for us is to live lives that are balanced. We admit that sometimes we are out of balance. Right now, during these unpredictable days in our world, we struggle to find balance. We seek the guidance of your Holy Spirit as we go through these days. If we are out of balance, help us restore balance in our lives. Jesus, lead us to a quiet place when we need to rest. Lord, Hear our prayers. Amen
Today: What do you need to balance your life?
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Rev. Douglas Knopp, Pastor Emeritus