Thursday, September 1, 2011

Why Bother?

It's time to jump start a new season of study.  Pencils sharpened.  New, shiny workbooks with not a wrinkle, neatly stacked.  My new reader glasses (3 pair)  ready (also double as a headband, how forty-something, I know). 

As I consider what to write on my last invitation to join in the group, I think why should these women bother?  Really, why take a Bible study?

There are endless number of reasons, but the most compelling for me is that God's word sounds much different than my word.  Christ and I don't think along the same lines and without a study to guide, prompt, reveal, confront me to that difference, I tend to assume Christ does agree with me. 

That wrong assumption is sometimes funny, but other times destructive.

Example of Carol's word:   I worry about the girls, will they make the team, make friends, make wise choices?  What about starting the school year with less than super grades?  What if they don't reach their potential (what does that mean anyway)?  Am I parenting well?  Too strong, too weak?   What if I take a risk, and it does not work out?  Why did they not include me on the GNO?  Am I a dud?  Why did I say that, or not say anything?  What is wrong with me?  What is wrong with them?  I would not do that, what were they thinking?  What if they don't want to work with me or take "my" class?  How can I be better?  How can they be better?

Example of Christ's word:  Luke 12:21-22:  "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself, but is not rich toward God."  Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body,what you will wear."   What about this strong warning from Mark 7:  "You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.   He said to them, "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions (or in my case my own priorities, concerns, perspective, values)."

Notice a slight difference?
It's not that the people and circumstances in my life are unimportant, they are valuable, but how I act and react to them should filter through the lens of faith.  My thoughts and words and acts should be consistent with what I believe and know to be true and a sound Bible study moves me in efficient and effective ways to line up my mind and mouth with Christ.

There is also the great joy and benefit of sharing scripture and its power with other Christians.   Learning and encouraging together is inspiring and motivating and humbling.  I think God gifts us with such fellowship.

So that's the short answer to why bother?

It's time to listen and learn and adapt to a holy voice.  It's a sweet sound.

Faith & Grace Bible Study
Roswell Presbyterian Church
Wednesday nights 6 pm and Friday mornings 9:30 am
Study Guide:  David:  Seeking a Heart Like His (written by Beth Moore)

Westchester Fellowship
Tuesday nights (2nd and 4th) 7:30 pm
Study Guide:  Brave:  Honest Questions Women Ask (written by Angela Thomas)

RPC Presbyterian Women Circle 2
Tuesday mornings (first of every month)  9:30 am
Study Guide:  Me, Myself and Lies (written by Jennifer Rothschild)

RPC Faithbuilders Sunday Morning Class (men and women)
Sunday morning:  9:45 am Sanc. 302
Study of the Gospel of John

Any of these sound sweet?  Contact me at johncarolswan@bellsouth.net

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Roswell, GA
Loves to find the answers to three questions of a sound Bible study: what does it say, what does it mean, what difference does it make?