I’ve been having trouble writing lately…Usually writing is the only way I know who I am or what I am really feeling. It’s my escape into myself. I don’t really know how much I love, hurt, ache, or feel fulfilled until I’ve sat down for a few moments and written. It’s been three weeks since my fingers have met a keyboard and I must admit that I am feeling a little disconnected.
It is my hope to write a new entry weekly. Perhaps in the future I will come to a place where I have the time and motivation to put something out daily. We shall see.
I had a Bible study with my family last Friday evening. It was my husband’s idea. A couple months ago he told me that he really feels a sense of urgency in his spiritual life. He felt like God was calling him to prepare himself further mentally and spiritually so that he could one day be fit to be used for Gods service. I am not sure that we are ever ‘fit’ for Gods call. It seems in my own life the closer I get to God, the further I realize I actually am. Time spent with Him is like staring at yourself in an incredibly vivid mirror, the longer you stand there, the more smudges you notice.
At any rate, my husband felt like we needed to connect spiritually as a family. I haven’t studied scripture with my mother since I was a child. It was like I was seeing her for the first time. For our first study we were just establishing the validity of the Bible. As I read verses I got to hear my mother respond with questions and stories from her life, stories I had never heard. My mother has always been the picture of beauty and poise in my tiny world, but last Friday I saw her not as a child sees their mother, but as a companion in imperfection. I listened as my mother, the woman who protected and guarded me for years, talked about her failures and shortcomings. It is as if I saw her last Friday evening, perhaps for the first time.
I had a professor in one of the classes I took at the seminary tell me that you really haven’t experienced God, until you’ve experienced Him through community. Ever since then, I have tried to get involved in Bible study. Here I am, a 7th Day Adventist Christian who has attended church schools for most of my life, and yet I had never been a part of a Bible study until I was 23 years old. There have been moments in my life when I was so stuffed full of my Christian education and my own personal devotions that I felt like I had a pretty good handle on all things spiritual. Then I attended my first Bible study, and I saw friends, friends whom I had known for years, in a whole new light.
There is something very transparent about coming together and allowing yourself to be vulnerable and honest while seeking to find a better understanding of Biblical truths. What my professor said is true; you really haven’t experienced God fully, until you experience Him through community. Alone on my high horse I didn’t realize how much I would benefit from the simple 45 minutes of joy a Bible study could bring me. Like I said though, the closer I get, the further I realize I am.
Before Jesus, the one whom they called Christ, laid down the ultimate sacrifice by allowing Himself to hang and die on an old rugged cross, He said in John 17:21, “I pray that they will all be one…”
Christ, the same Christ that you and I pray to, prayed a prayer of His own. The weight sitting heavy on the heart of a man who knew that He was about to be lead like a Lamb to the slaughter was that, ‘we would become one.’ You see He knew that His earthly ministry was ending and also knew just what we would need in order to stay connected; we would need to experience Him through community.
My invitation to you this week, is to get involved in a Bible study. Meet your friends and family, perhaps for the first time. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Take 45 minutes out of your week and dedicate it to God and Christian fellowship. Make good on the words that fell from the lips of our Savior, “I pray that they will all be one…”
Apparently, you cannot be a Christian alone. It took me 23 years to understand that. I’m 26 years old now, and I can honestly tell you that I have experienced God more fully in the past 3 years since I have been spending time with Him both alone, and in community than I did in the whole 23 years previous combined.
Apparently God did not just pray that we would become one for His sake, but for ours.
You see, apparently, we cannot be Christians alone.
Heather’s devotional, Cracked Glasses, is currently the March book deal of the month! Purchase it by clicking this link: http://www.adventistbookcenter.com/cracked-glasses.html