Belong Before You Behave

 

Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting the sin-sick, not the spiritually-fit. – Mark 2:17

I have been a part of a church or two that feel more like private country clubs than what a church should be. I paid my yearly dues – tithe. I attended weekly meetings where rules were made clear. I engaged in monthly social events where I mingled with like-minded people. We patted ourselves on the back for being “spiritual” and “in the world but not of it”.

It wasn’t until I matured a bit in my faith that I began to wonder if churches should be less like country clubs and more like hospitals.

I’m grateful to now be a part of a church who welcomes the sick, the questioning, the addicts, the depressed, the lonely, the seeking, the sinners … i.e. all of us. We wrestle with life together and seek God’s best for us. If your church requires a membership card, it might be time to question why.

Prayer: I’m so grateful that you turn no one away.

Come as you are

With all your flaws

Liars, cheaters, addicts,

We accept them all.

You will learn what’s best,

Let go of the rest.

But you can’t be changed lest

You first come as you are.

(Today’s title was lifted from one of our church’s sermons. I’m glad Jesus welcomes thieves.)

Martha, Martha, Martha!

 

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 38:41-42

I remember reading this story for the first time (and several times there after), sympathizing with Martha’s complaint. Mary was being a free-loader! They had an important guest and the meal needed to be perfect. To leave her sister to bear the burden of the preparation alone seemed an enormous injustice.

Confession: I am an amazing Do-er and a terrible Be-er. If my feet aren’t moving, my hands not working, my mind not thinking, I feel unproductive and insufficient. Most of the tasks I’m DOing are not bad in and of themselves – cooking (like Martha), cleaning, running errands, driving kids. However, when they are crammed together one right after the next, leaving no time for rest, prayer, or reflection, I lose my focus on God and all pursuits become hollow.

Mary saw what was right in front of her and mindfully ignored the nonessential happenings that surrounded her. She kept the main the main thing. How would our calendars differ this year if we sought God first?

Prayer: Please take over my schedule this week. Show me where I should be DOing less and BEing more with you.

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. – Stephen Covey

(Many thanks to the poor middle child, Jan Brady, for the inspiration for today’s title)