Monday, May 05, 2008

The joy of fellowship

A high point for me last week was meeting with a small group of friends over lunch. We catch up with each other and encourage each other in our spiritual life. This week, "Joel" told us that someone at his church encouraged them to take ten minutes to listen to God. "But what does that mean?" he asked. "It sounds like some kind of meditation. Have you done that? Have you heard anything?"

I love it when this kind of question comes up. Joel trusted us enough to tell us what he was puzzled about -- he didn't pretend to have it all together, and he sincerely wanted to know what this was about -- it wasn't just idle curiosity.

After a brief pause, I offered that I'd never heard a voice, but that thoughts have sometimes come to me during prayer or while reading the Bible, thoughts that seem beyond the way I usually think.

"James" spoke up next, saying that his experience was similar. But if you just sit there, he said, all kinds of stuff might come into your mind. He mentioned the passage where Jesus says if you sweep out the house, an evil spirit might come in -- in other words, don't just empty your mind like TM tells you to do; you have to put something in. (James was referring to Luke 11:24-26.) So he suggested reading the Scriptures and thinking about them.

This made me really happy -- having a group of men who trust each other and help each other grow, and getting to witness a holy conversation.

And by the way, another member of our group, someone younger in the faith, was witnessing this, too, and learning. He saw brothers interacting sincerely with humility, asking questions that matter and sharing Biblical wisdom and life experience, all without pretense.

I love being part of the body of Christ!

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