‘Busyness’ is not necessarily Godliness as the story of Mary illustrates. The relationships in play in the room that day show that we can be near God but not joined to Him in our hearts and in the flow of His spirit and life. Even when our busyness is a form of godliness, we remain deprived if we are using our activity as virtue signalling to ourselves and to others.
The life of ourselves and the life we are able to impart to each other depends on the reality of our union with God. Some are insulated from this union by erroneous beliefs like a partial and unfinished ‘atonement’ or an attachment to iconic rites thought to be meritorious in themselves. The final words of Revelation warn against adding or subtracting to this gospel for a reason: it insulates us from God and makes for a lesser christ and crippled people.
What is ‘This Gospel.’ It is Christ our life.’
Jesus was spirit and life because He was one with the Father. Jesus knew His Father and His Father knew Him. It was this kind of ‘knowing’ – the kind of ‘knowing’ that occurs in a good marriage of a husband and a wife that Jesus lived in. We participate in this kind of ‘knowing God’ when we abide in Christ without insulating religiosities.
“The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and the Son, who in being given to us enables us beyond any capacity of our own to participate in God's knowing of himself through himself, and thus really to know the one God in the inner relations of his divine being, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To express it the other way round, through Christ Jesus, through his cross and in union with him, we are given access to the Father in one Spirit, and know him to be eternally in himself the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit which he is toward us in his revealing and saving activity.” (1) This is the kind of ‘knowing’ that surpasses any relationship that is suffocated by an attempted relating through the law and its innate separateness and alienation.
COMMUNITY OF THE AT-ONE
We are in trouble if our church is not a community of the atonement because we have insulated ourselves from union with God and made religion out of separation. Christian Kettler writes, “The church as the body of Christ, as the community of the atonement, should be a place of “rehabilitation” for all, building upon the accomplished radical surgery performed by the life of the Son lived in our human flesh.” (2) Such at-one-ment works from within because Christ has come in our flesh.
SPIRIT AND LIFE IS CHRIST OUR LIFE
You might remember the story of Martha who was anxious to make sandwiches Jesus did not ask for and Mary, who fed Jesus’ heart by receiving words of life at His feet. We are not important because we are busy. Neither are we necessarily advancing God’s cause because we are active. We can note the following points about Jesus’ activities:
He and His Father were one. Father and Son knew each other intimately He only did what His Father was doing and His actions released spirit and life.
Jesus was spirit and life – healing goodness flowed naturally from His being This was the life of our Father, the presence of Holy Spirit and of course Himself emanating from His person. As, God Jesus was life itself or more accurately life Himself since life is personal and relational and never an abstraction.
RIVERS OF LIFE
Busyness is not necessarily life. Avoid pumping out plans that did not originate in Jesus, and implying like Martha, that those who pursue God with the entirety of their being are in some way derelict. ( There are some for whom busyness is a rationalisation for their attachment to their own christ and their own gospel)
Busyness can be more than irrelevant to the situation as was Martha’s obsessive behavior. It can rationalise our quiet refusal to follow where Jesus is leading. It can be a front for inert hearts, blind eyes and wilfully deaf ears who insist on masking this with obsessive activity.
ARMS BEATING THE AIR
Jesus warned that that actions in the flesh mean nothing for the Kingdom. It’s just ‘busy work.’ The advance of the Kingdom is never about filling a religious opportunity with a piece of behaviour modification. A conference pizza party that consists of handing our pieces of knowledge of good and evil pizza does not multiply spirit and life.
ONENESS FOR ALL
We are no longer in the realm of the knowledge of good and evil where any piece of information will do. We are one with God. We are living in God in the fellowship of the trinity and are instruments of spirit and life. That is, if we are in the Spirit and not in the separation and artifice of the law.
When Jesus worked life flowed out of His being because He and Father were one. We are able to do the same in the new covenant age because the essence of the new covenant is union with God. It is ours. We are the expression of the trinity in any and every situation when we live in this mindset - the mind of Christ in which we realize that ‘I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20. In this mode, in this mindset we are always life-givers.
This mindset and this position is the source and the soil of the anointing and the gifts. Without this soil the result will be torpor and ineffectualness.
(1) Thomas Torrance, The Mediation of Christ. P117 (2) Kettler, Christian D.. The Breadth and Depth of the Atonement: The Vicarious Humanity of Christ in the Church, the World, and the Self: Essays, 1990–2015 (p. 11). Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.