I wrote this a while back. I'm posting it now at the encouragement of my fellow Disciples.
Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them”.
Matthew 18:20 (NRSV)
For two years, my husband and I have been part of a small group that meets weekly to study the Bible. It’s an intense study that requires over a half a year commitment that includes daily reading of scripture and 2 ½ hour weekly meetings.
We’re well into our second study together and we’ve come to know each other quite well. Last night, we met after several weeks of absence due to the Christmas and New Year holiday. We’d missed one another and had a lot to catch up on. Although the evening’s lesson was somewhat difficult with readings from Exodus and Leviticus, we had no problem jumping into the material and having a lively discussion. There was much laughing and good natured joking; yet, there were also moments when one might tell of a deep concern or personal struggle and the rest of us would listen intently; showing our love and offering encouragement.
Although these scenes were typical of all our gatherings, it struck me last night that Jesus WAS sitting there at the table with us. When I thought about it, I could see Him, energized; warmth radiating from Him to us, perhaps a loud laugh at something said, or, a sympathetic pat on the shoulder when someone shared something difficult, or, a nod of encouragement to our leader when he skillfully brought us back on focus. How appropriate that our study is entitled “Disciples”!
I wish others could see our group and discover that studying God’s Word and being a follower of Jesus lets us share with others the full range of life’s most powerful emotions, sometimes all in one evening. And if that’s not enough to convince them, it can be fun, too.
Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching".