18 Jan Pastor’s Paragraph for January 19, 2020
Pastor's Paragraph for January 19, 2020
JANUARY 19, 2020
When I retired from active ministry in 2005, I looked forward to the free time I would have to read many of the things that I never had time to read before. I soon discovered, however, that reading by myself was not enough. I needed a group of people with whom I could interact, a group of people who would share their ideas with me and who would challenge me when I shared some of my ideas.
I found such a group in the small men’s Bible study group called Band of Brothers. I have been meeting with them on Monday nights for 14 years. We have become more than a group. Indeed, we are as close to being a family as any group could be. Since I joined the group, two of our members have died of illness, and we truly grieved their loss as family members grieve the loss of their loved ones. We always begin our Bible studies with intercessory prayer for names shared by other members, often their family members who are struggling with illness.
One of my greatest joys in the group, however, is the sharing of personal interpretations of Holy Scripture. The insight and deep understandings that come out of that sharing often amaze me. The men often help me to reinterpret Scripture in the context of their own experiences. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, felt that all theology should begin with Scripture, which is then interpreted through the lens of tradition, experience, and reason. The men have helped me do that again and again. I am grateful for their insights.
The group is also a great reminder to me that spiritual growth takes place most quickly in the environment of a spiritual family – a large one which we call the Church or the Body of Christ, and a smaller one called a Discovery Group such as Band of Brothers. We encounter Christ again and again in the context of the Body of Christ, where we learn in depth what the writer of the Gospel of John said about Jesus our Lord:
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
Rev. Dr. Jack Grove
New Members Ministry