Summary: A plea for healthy balance, beliefs, and boundaries in relationships

Postcards from the Past:

Finding Balance in Relationships

Scripture Reading: 2 John 1-13

He was born in Magdeburg, Germany, in 1905,

into a family that for 150 years

had traveled throughout Europe,

performing in city squares and beer halls

as acrobats,




and animal trainers.

He was performing in the family show at age six, and in 1922, he began to develop his own act, inventing an amazing 4-person, 3-level pyramid, balancing on a chair

on top of a bar

between the shoulders

of two men on bicycles

on a wire 50 feet in the air . . .

topping it off by having

his wife climb up on his shoulders!

The act was such a sensation

that when John Ringling them do it in Cuba,

he immediately signed them up for

the "Greatest Show On Earth."

Karl Wallenda was his name, and

his family was “The Flying Wallendas.”

Karl continued performing into his 60s & 70s,

doing "Sky Walks,"

walking between buildings and across stadiums.

He walked across Niagara Falls on a high wire.

He walked across the open top of the Astrodome.

At the age of 65,

he balanced himself along a 1200-foot long wire

across the Tallulah Falls Gorge in Georgia,

and performed two separate headstands

at a height of over 700 feet in the air.

And then,

in March, 1978,

during an exhibition in San Juan, Puerto Rico,

the patriarch of the Great Wallendas

fell to his death at age 73.

Not because of his age,

not because of the wind,

but because several misconnected guy ropes

along the wire caused him to lose his balance

and fall to his death.

Losing your balance can kill you,

and not just if you’re a high-wire artist;

it can kill you in relationships, too.

It can kill your job,

your marriage,

your friendships,

your reputation,

your testimony as a Christian.

Good morning. My name is Bob Hostetler,

and I want to welcome you all

to Cobblestone Community Church,

a church whose mission is to love people

into life-changing encounters with God,

which fits right into what we’re going to study

from Gpd’s Word, the Bible,

this morning.

Now, if you haven’t already opened your Bible,

let me ask you to do that

as we spend a few moments

in the book of 2 John,

the third-from-the-last book of the whole Bible!

You’ll find it on p. 847

in the free Bibles we’ve provided for your use,

either under every few chairs

or by the railing on your way in . . .

and if you don’t already have a Bible of your own, we’d love for you to take one home with you today.

So, as you’re turning to 2 John in your Bible,

let me just mention that this is such a short letter,

it would’ve fit onto one page,

one 8 x 10 sheet of parchment,

the material the Apostle John would’ve used

to write this letter, which we call “Second John.”

It was, in some ways, a first-century equivalent

to a modern postcard,

which makes it one of the “Postcard from the Past”

we’re studying these first three weeks of July.

So we’re going to read God’s mail this morning,

as we not only study an entire book of the Bible

in the brief time we have remaining,

but also learn some valuable things about

“Finding Balance in Relationships.”

So, if you would folllow along in your own Bible,

and, if you wish, make use of the notes

that are provided for you in the programs

you received as you came in the door,

I want to point out a few things first off

about this letter as a whole.

You’ll notice, if you look at verse 1,

that the person writing this letter does not identify himself by name,

as was the custom of other New Testament authors, such as Peter, Paul, James, and Jude.

He simply calls himself “The elder,” which may refer to his age, or to his position in a local church.

However, from the content of this letter

and its similarity to other New Testament writings,

it’s pretty safe to say that the “elder” of verse one

is the Apostle John, author of the Gospel of John,

who, probably while living in Ephesus

wrote what we now call 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John,

and who, while living out his last years in exile

on a Mediterranean island,

recorded what has become the last book

in the Bible,

the Revelation.

You’ll notice also, if you look again at verse 1,

that this “Postcard from the Past”

is the only book of the Bible

addressed specifically to a woman!

Verse one says,

The elder, To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth--and not I only, but also all who know the truth (2 John 1, NIV).

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