The Time Barrier

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Scripture: Luke 10:38-42

The Lament: Glósóli by Sigur Ros

Take It Further: “How It Starts with Neighbors” by Ross Wilbanks

Whatever moves on this earth, satellites can track it. Buildings are erected, projects presented and planned, their growth is measured. Levels of organization appear on screens as on-the-dot. Yet, we still cannot choose our neighbors. What neighborhood would you choose if you could? A common term for a good neighbor is “quiet” as in, “I wouldn’t worry; it’s pretty quiet around here.” A common feeling of fear for whatever could be unplanned on the outside.

Lord, what is my lot in life?
Show me what is best in the land of the living.

Now say, you escape the confines of being moved-in, and step out ready to extend your hand to the first neighbor you see. You might even knock on a door unannounced. Standing there, waiting, you realize something clear for once: your neighbors feel the same fear about you. It’s best to tend to your own affairs. Boundaries exist for a reason, after all. It might be a good idea to brainstorm a bit and schedule that in. Best not to waste people’s time. Think of something everyone will appreciate, let them know you care.

That I can dwell in a house you gave me, Lord.
A desire to hold to you here all the days of my life.

It’s time to get to work, to your job, to your car and you’re late again. It’s then you meet your first neighbor. He smiles. He’s older and needs help, asking if you could come by after work. Sure. The work he needs done is simple and you talk for a good hour afterwards. You both know you’re good guys now. Your first neighbor happens to know everyone else around you and introduces you at every chance. The fussy thoughts, the plans, all toss into a flurry of disruptions. The fearful quiet is changed. You’re left to all kinds of improvising actions. Is this community?

Lord, I want to do well. Let me be myself.
My plans have been superimposed by yours.

Jesus tells Martha that she is careful, which is true. Did Martha ever reply, “Who’s going to set the dinner table if I don’t?” There is a great anticipation of Jesus coming by the end of Luke 10. Martha wants to show Jesus in a good light at her home. His ideas were spreading. He was clearly important. Martha’s sister, Mary, simply sits down at Jesus’ feet and submits. She listens and receives the word, the best part.

In one action, let me see, Lord.
By your hem, the spirit’s string in front of me.


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