When I was young, I loved the image of Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to his teaching (Matthew 10:29). I would close my eyes and imagine sitting there soaking in every word (while Martha did all the work, of course). To that image I added to an intense desire to know just exactly what Jesus said to the disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:27 when “beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.” Why couldn’t we know exactly what he taught them, I wondered?
And then in a class on Acts, I found out; we do know. Every speech given by disciples in the book of Acts quotes heavily from the Old Testament revealing what the early church had learned from Jesus. So now, I understand that when I study scripture, I am sitting at the feet of Jesus, “the Word made flesh . . . full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Our study of scripture and our practice of what we learn there “[marks each of us] as a companion of Jesus” (Levison 75). Every two years, a group of FPC 8th and 9th graders gathers with mentors in a Confirmation Class. Six months, fifteen class sessions (with homework), memory work, a service project, and a statement of faith later, those students have the opportunity to give a public proclamation of faith and become full members of our congregation. They claim for themselves the promises of baptism we claimed on their behalf when they were younger. We pray they come out of the class as companions of Jesus with some basic truths of the faith safely stored in their hearts and minds for the road of faith isn’t easy and they will need encouragement along the way. Because, as Levison reminds us, signs and wonders, spectacular miracles, aren’t always easy to come by, but one miracle matters - Jesus Christ, crucified and risen. Thanks be to God for the saving death of our risen Lord!
May your study this Lenten season draw you close to the miracle of Easter.
Throughout the Lenten season, small groups are meeting to discuss "40 Days with the Holy Spirit" by Dr. Jack Levison. As you reflect on this text, share your thoughts and questions here on the blog. Check back often, join the conversation in the comment section, and read along if you’d like! (Copies of the book are for sale in the church office 903-597-6317.)
Many thanks to The Rev. Pamela Leach, who contributed to this post.