I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I don't have a lot of time to prepare for all the things that I do. So, often, I can be found consolidating. For instance, I help to lead a small Bible Study down at our residential motels here in Modesto. We're going through the gospel of John. So guess what our neighborhood youth group sometimes gets? Yep, that's right, a recycled Bible study from the gospel of John. And, you know, they don't seem to mind.
When we first started the meeting at the motels, I bought a great resource that I can't believe I've not used until now. I went down to the used book store (one of my favorite spots in town, Yesterday's Books) and got a Serendipity New Testament for Groups. So both of our meetings are quite simple. We read the scripture together and discuss it with some leading questions. Just this simple act takes us to some great places in conversation and prayer.
This past week was John 11, the story of Lazarus. On 9th Street and at youth group, we read about Jesus waiting two days before leaving to go see Lazarus, his seriously sick friend. We talked about how Jesus must have a different perspective on death than we do. We read about Jesus' conversation with Mary and Martha and how even though Jesus knew Lazarus would rise, he still cried with the sisters. We talked about Jesus' care for our feelings even if he has a bigger perspective.
It is Jesus who calls. It is Jesus who gives life. It is God who gets glory. It is put to us to help people take off the grave clothes that they get wrapped up in.
I was at a 2 year birthday party at AA a few weeks ago with a friend. I saw this at work there. The folks at that meeting are helping each other remove their grave clothes. And just being there, I felt some of mine fall away too. This is the beauty of friendship. We can actually be a part of helping one another be free and come back into life.