Sermon Illustrations

MARGIN OR MESSIAH?

Richard Swenson wrote a book in the 1990's titled, "Margin" in which he describes modern society as so overcommitted and over scheduled that we have no space left for rest. A reviewer writes: Overload is not having time to finish the book you're reading on stress. Margin is having time to read it twice. Overload is fatigue. Margin is energy. Overload is red ink. Margin is black ink. Overload is hurry. Margin is calm. Overload is anxiety. Margin is security. Overload is a disease of our day. Margin is the cure.

He says that as a society, we've forgotten what margin is. In the push for progress, margin has been devoured. So we feel distressed in ill-defined ways. We are besieged by anxiety, stress, and fatigue. Our relationships suffer. We have unexplained aches and pains. The flood of daily events seems beyond our control. We're overloaded.

Margin is the space that once existed between ourselves and our limits. It's something held in reserve for contingencies or unanticipated situations.

As a medical practitioner, Dr. Swenson sees a steady stream of exhausted, hurting people coming into his office. He says that a majority of them are suffering from an uncontrolled societal epidemic: living without margin. Again, his thesis: Overload is a disease of our day. Margin is the cure. (Taken from Amazon review)

Actually, the Bible shows us that margin is not the cure. Margin is simply a byproduct of living in sync with our Savior's schedule according to the scriptures. To find margin we need a Messiah who gives us instruction for both labor and rest. Jesus is that Messiah and Jesus is the true cure to the disease of overload, and we might add, Jesus is the cure to laziness too.

(From a sermon by Greg Nance, Rest God's Way, 7/16/2011)

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