I sent a note out to our Bible study group that we will be ready to start up again on June 5th. Normally, this wouldn’t be anything that I would write about – after all, I have taught Bible for many years. At first, I taught at the LePeep restaurant at Keystone in the Crossing on Thursdays at lunch. That was kind of interesting in that people would meet at lunch, eat from noon until 12:30; and then I would teach for 30 minutes – one chapter a week pretty much year around.
Not only was it something that gave back to the community, but I gained valuable experience as a teacher and the study time gave me a chance to connect with God in a very meaningful way as we studied numerous books throughout the years that I taught. However, as I got busier, it became more difficult to get to the north side to teach when I was in seminary on the south side so much of each day. Eventually, Janet and I made the decision that I would teach out of our home on Thursday evenings. I had initial concerns that nobody would want to participate, but the truth of the matter is that we have a small, strong core group of folks who have been deeply committed to studying God’s word together for almost a decade – and that doesn’t include the years I taught at lunch.
So as you can tell, we have been together a long time now. And it has been great to see the group grow in their faith and study the Scriptures at a deeper level each year. In fact, I think it would be somewhat difficult for new folks to join in at this point. Not that they wouldn’t be welcome, but we know each at such a level and the faith of our group has matured throughout the years to a point that we really enjoy studying together. But last year, we hit a snag. Janet’s parents were dealing with health issues and we decided, after our first meeting of the season, that we would be better off postponing the study until later in the summer. Unfortunately, we were not able to get back together and so our start on June 5th will be the first time in almost a year that we are studying together.
At one point early on, I even wondered if we would become a little house church but that really wasn’t something I felt called to do. Besides that, most of us have a church. And although I love preaching on an interim basis, I wouldn’t like to have the responsibilities of a fully pastoral role in a church until I retire from my corporate obligations – and right now I am having a great time with the clients that I serve. I’m sure that God will let me know if and when the time comes that He wants me to take on the responsibilities of a congregation.
As it stands, I am getting pretty jazzed about teaching again. In fact, I am even more excited about the study time I must devote each week preparing for the lesson each evening. That’s some of the most rewarding time with God I have each week and I really look forward to it. The verse for tonight addresses the call that Paul speaks about for each of our lives. We are told in Ephesians 4:11, “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers…” It is clear that each of us receives a special call from God.
My encouragement this evening is that God has some special assignment for you – and the really good news is that if God has designed something for you, you will be excited at the prospect of jumping right in. And my prayer is that you will earnestly seek God’s assurance that what you are doing is in accord with His will for your life. Because there just isn’t anything more rewarding that being in community with God while bringing help and joy to those whose lives you touch. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…