"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."
I'll always remember the date: First Monday. After Christmas. 2010.
I am in need of some downtime and some, I rationalize, well-deserved indulgence. So, with Kindle in tow, I head over to our local Chick-Fil-A. My mouth is watering at the thought of a hot, steamy chicken sandwich and crisp waffle fries. My heart is set on some quiet reading time.
I walk through the doors and head to the counter to place my order. I hear them before I see them. Laughing and talking animatedly. Is that Pastor Emily's voice?
I turn and see her and a group of college-aged students gathered in a generous corner of the restaurant. I don't know the names of the young people, but their faces are so familiar. They are regular attendees of the contemporary praise service where my husband leads worship. I have to stop by and say, "Hello!".
"Hi, Martha!" Pastor Emily greets me with enthusiasm. "We're holding our weekly Bible study. You're more than welcome to join us!"
I glance at all these youthful, eager, and smiling faces. I'm old enough to be their mother. Surely, these kids don't want an old lady barging into their group? Emily is just being gracious, that's all.
"Thank you, Emily," I respond, politely, flashing my Kindle. "Kinda have my mind tuned to some quiet reading today. And, I don't have my Bible with me."
"That's never a problem, " she assures me, "I always have extras. Maybe another time, then?"
"Sure," I say, thinking there would never be a next time. "Great to see everyone!"
A chorus of friendly good-byes follows me to the counter.
I claim my lunch and retreat to a far corner of the restaurant. I try to absorb myself in my reading. It is difficult to focus. The intermittent, happy sound of their voices punctuates my concentration.
Maybe, I should have accepted . . .
I feel a stirring . . .
I'm not currently in a Bible study. I need to be. Maybe, God, You are telling me something today? Is Emily really serious? Would the kids truly mind if I joined them?
By the time I leave, my mind is made up.
I send Emily an e-mail as soon as I fly through the door. She replies within the hour.
The college group would love to have you! They look forward to the times when my own mom and dad attend our sessions. Besides, you represent their service, you are part of their band. What could be more perfect than that?
See you next Monday!
Love and blessings,
I attend, eagerly, the following week.
I have yet to be disappointed.
Our shared study and fellowship enhance my understanding of scripture. I bond with these remarkable young people, and they with me. We laugh, we cry, we share, we encourage, we pray.
And, each time we gather, I know the Lord is with us.
Whenever, two or three . . . it is enough.
If you are not currently in a Bible study group, will you seek one out soon?
Will you pray with me?
When we study Your Word, Lord, the insights and knowledge of others are so vital. This enables us to grow and learn together in spirit and in truth. We can support and comfort one another along our Christian walk. We can, in all humility, gain a deeper understanding of you. Amen.
I am thankful for my Bible study companions, my friends who walk the walk in love and who always have the courage to share their deepest convictions.
Psalms 102 or 107:1-32
1 Maccabees 4:36-59