Gleanings – Creating Margins to Move Toward People

Mark 6:30-46

“He saw a great throng, and had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.”

Note the contrast between Jesus and his disciples. Jesus is increasingly bearing the burdens of those around him. The disciples on the other hand are saying to Jesus, “Send the masses away. This is the wrong hour of the day, supper time, to be responsible for them.

Too often we say “Am I my brother’s keeper?” We want less not more responsibility for others. We find our calendar quite full without opening ourselves up to bearing others burdens whatever they are, emotional, spiritual and physical.

Jesus would have us say and do otherwise. He is moving toward people and their plight, not away from them. This is the image into which we are being transformed.

What would be required of most of us? We would necessarily increase the margins of our lives. Presently many of us arrive everywhere we go with only a minute to spare. We are margin-less. Outlook or Google Calendar won’t allow our lunch to go long even if our business partner or friend tells us he has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

It is nearly impossible to influence others without personal contact. It is certainly impossible to disciple without it. Programs don’t disciple people. People do. But here is where the culture presses in upon the church. Being with people is inefficient. Or in an effort to be efficient we meet with everyone once a quarter for fifteen minutes. We have just long enough to ask “How are you?” without any intention of enduring the response. So we don’t do relate or we do it in such a way as to make it a program and not real heartfelt interaction.

The church has to do better and resist a culture that wants it to be successful like a business. We must find the freedom of space to move toward people regardless of the time of day.

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