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
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.
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 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,
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,
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).