Saturday, September 24, 2011

Those Facebook changes are something, aren't they? Whew, I can't keep up anymore.

You know, my kids attended a Vacation Bible School (VBS) at a Bible church in August and the ladies invited me to their weekly Bible study. The funny thing about that is two years ago I had contacted the pastor through their web site about participating in their ladies' Bible study. Whomever he passed off my request to dropped the ball and I never heard back. It's a rare church which would only welcome regular members to Bible study.

So I went on Wednesday morning even though I don't really have time for it now. Wednesday morning is typically my "do errands" time. For instance, next Wednesday I'm chaperoning a fourth grade field trip. And last Wednesday I was having the car serviced, so I missed the initial meeting. The ladies are working through the Sunday school booklet and I had already looked through Chapter 1 online.

The facilitator almost hugged me when I entered the door, if I had allowed her. She really pressed me to identify my church so I looked her straight in the eye and told her. I eventually gathered that she's the pastor's wife. The pastor, since he quit his high school teaching post last spring, was around and came in to answer a question about God. We had read something in Genesis about man being made in God's image (Gen. 1:27) and a participant wanted to know whether God was human like us. My first impulse was to quote Jesus to the Samaritan woman at the well, "God is spirit" (John 4:24) but to also say that Jesus is God incarnate. Instead, I decided to see how her question was handled. The pastor pretty much said what I had thought, only mistakenly attributed the phrase "God is spirit" to John, Chapter 6 and mispronounced "anthropomorphism." Still, his giftedness as a teacher came across very well.

We were taking each question from the workbook in round robin form, looking up each verse and reading it. We were jumping all over the Bible because we were investigating a theme: how the Bible describes God the Father. The facilitator was reluctant to put me on the spot even though I showed no qualms about looking up passages and reading them from my King James Bible. Yeah, alright, I stumbled on "shouldest" in the first verse I read aloud but I quickly caught on. Actually, not everyone had the King James and those who did modernized what they read to us on the fly.

When I read Titus 3:5, the lady next to me wondered what "the washing of regeneration" could possibly be. I really could have told her. Then she read her passage and commented on the name "Lord" all in small capital letters. She said, "There's that word again, LORD. What does that mean?" So I explained it's the translation of the divine name and that most Bibles have translation notes in the introduction explaining their choices. It was as if I hadn't said anything. No one acknowledged what I said but rather continued to ponder the significance of "LORD" in their Bibles. I was surprised the facilitator didn't offer any answer or call to her pastor husband again.

Later, this lady identified herself to me as a former Episcopalian before asking about my church. I told her and she said her opinion of Catholics is that they don't read the Bible either.

At the conclusion, I hung around to explain to the faciliator that I enjoyed the study and the company of the other women but that Wednesday is my "errand day." She offered to switch the study to any other morning for my convenience, a proposition that I found quite preposterous. I turned her down. I think she also offered to meet with me one on one.

As I drove home, I was thinking over this experience, laughing about how nice they all were to me and to each other but also considering how stunted they seemed. These critical thoughts were interrupted when my St. Christopher visor clip slipped off and bopped me on the head! I told God if he wants me nice he's gonna have to make me nice.


kkollwitz said...

"No one acknowledged what I said but rather continued to ponder the significance of "LORD" in their Bibles."

Wow. Even in my 6th grade class we discuss the difference between LORD and Lord.

Barbara Schoeneberger said...

I've learned the hard way that sometimes people just aren't ready to take in information and it goes right past them when you try to tell them. St. Christopher bopping you on the head is hilarious. Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

I love how God smacked you on the head. We have to have those moments to keep from getting prideful, don't we?

It's kind of sad, actually, that no one appeared to hear what you said. I quit facilitating a study because I had wanted it to be a source of deepening my own faith and instead I felt I was answering everyone else's questions. :(