10am on Wednesday 28th February - after lunch on Friday 1st March 2024
Far from being a state of blissful balance between Martha's activism and Mary's contemplation, ministry in the real world is more like a daily tug-of-war or even wrestling match between the apparent opposites. The seemingly endless attention to the needs of others competes with the need to be still and reflective, but in both these activities ministers are offering themselves to their churches and to the wider world. Like Martha we need to be activists. Like Mary we need to be contemplative. And like Lazarus we need to know our own needs and limits. Lazarus cannot raise himself (John 11.1-45), Jesus must do it for him. Perhaps the vocation to ministry is not to somehow achieve 'perfect' balance, but to continually engage with the tensions inherent in this uncommon occupation. To be perpetually occupied and pre-occupied with what might occupy the heart of God in this place, among these people.