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Posts Tagged ‘bible study’

prioritiesThis summer, I have moved most of my writing energy to a new online project called Bible Study Together. It started as a request from my pastor to experiment with creating a Bible Study through a Facebook group. That venue proved problematic because of the way the posts bounce around when a person comments on a particular post. As a result, I moved everything to the blog which has proved far more successful.

The process is quite different from devotional work and although the learning and appreciation I have for the book of Ephesians has grown immeasurably, I would not say it has enhanced my quiet time.

How do people balance all of the possibilities? I never seem able to get the percentages right. I enjoy new experiences but they come at a cost. My home environment has reached “chaos” standing, particularly the office. With the kids all in “adulthood” but still living at home, there is a scatteredness to our schedules that makes dinners or “family” time an anomaly. Church time now has additional responsibilities and it is rare to find time for reflection. Besides, our services aren’t even structured for that. I knew that going in.

I remember going on a personal retreat to a convent. It was a wonderful experience in the end, but it took a full day and a half before I really managed to settle into a routine of true contemplation and prayer. The first hours I slept heavily or made lists of all the things I needed to do when I got back. My mind whirred.

So, here I am, making myself another promise: two more weeks of the study and I’ll get back to my first love. But who knows, really, what the next two weeks will hold?

 

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Come. It’s an invitation. Come see. Come along and be a part. Please come (don’t stay behind). Come with us. But it can also be a command: Come! Come here. Come on. Come away. Move! Why do I resist this word? Why do I want to go the other way? Why retreat?

Revelation 22:17, 20 b
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. . . Come Lord Jesus. 

It’s a commitment to come along. It means walking or running forward. Anything else is a decrease or standing still.

When I accepted the truth of Christ as the unique being He is, I did not fully understand the implications, but I did hear the call to participate in the God Presence anyway. It was quite simple, just these words, “Come … and drink.” And these words, “Come Lord Jesus.” And with my willingness to move forward, Christ moved closer to me into a mutual embrace.

Thirty-three years ago, a friend asked me to read the New Testament as an exercise, an acting exercise if you will. In the same way that an actor should read a script for the first time, I was asked to put these words, “if this were true,” at the beginning of the text and suspend all judgments until the end. It was in this way that I heard the invitation as well as the command, to come. Like stepping through a door, I knew I would be entering a different world. For awhile, I tried to straddle the threshold, but in the end, there is only, “come” and then a decision. It’s only after the decision that a person can really know, grow, and change. Even Yoda had it right, “Do… or do not. There is no try.”

I began this particular journaling/blogging walk through the scriptures back in 2009. It’s been a very slow investigation and yet quite revealing. Of course, there have been lost days and lost verses, so I assumed I would just start over again once I finished. But is there a point? Have I lost the momentum? Am I too scattered?

I felt an actual resistance to reaching the end of Revelation. That is, until I read that same call, that allure to drawing closer, the beckoning voice of the Holy Spirit with a promise of more and deeper. Come.

What will that look like? I don’t know. But I must go.

Last week, I went to Hershey Park (amusement park) and in an uncharacteristic and spontaneous moment, I agreed to ride a roller coaster with which I was totally unfamiliar. I did not know how fast it would go or how steep it would climb or drop. I had not been watching it while walking around the park looking for my family. We met up at the entrance of the ride and they said, “Come on Mom,” and I went. It was terrifying. But I survived, as we mostly do. I screamed, I prayed, I closed my eyes, I opened my eyes. I experienced a mini-life.

God does not intend for me to know much about the ride. He just wants me to come along.

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