January 30, 2006

February 5

Next Sunday, February 5, the readings are:

The hymns are (all are in Voices United)

  • 232 Joyful, Joyful We Adore You
  • 646 Siyahamba/We Are Marching
  • 624 Give to Us Laughter
  • 420 Go to the World

Sermon title: Busy-ness and Prayer.

Early thoughts: It is somewhat insidious. This belief that we have to be "doing" all the time. Many times I hear the story (possibly true) of the minister sitting in his study praying when someone comes to the door and says "oh good, you aren't busy". After all prayer time can easily be seen as "unproductive" and there are always so many more productive ways to spend ones time.

Jesus had the same problem. In this passage from Mark's gospel we see Jesus busy healing people. Then when he tries to find a quiet place to pray people continue to find him, making demands on his time and energy. Whenever I read this story I see in my mind the scene from Jesus Christ Superstar where Jesus is not only surrounded but consumed by those wanting help.

The challenge for all of us as people of faith is to find the balance between doing and being. It is not healthy to always be out there. We need time to recharge, to reflect, to re-connect with the Source. And that is what prayer can do for us. But we can't swing too far the other way either. Not all of us are called to be hermits--and hermits don't get paid all that well anyway. We have to be out there doing, both for our own well-being and for the health of our communities (faith and secular). It is a question of balance.

Jesus knew the need for prayer time. Jesus, who had a deeper connection with God than most people even dream of, knew the need to go and work on his relationship with God. What makes us think we are any different? In our lives of busy-ness, may we find the time to pray.

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