I’m new to a group of graduate Christians. The whole group (of about 15) meets once a week for worship, study, and prayer. It’s so very different from what I’m used to, but God is using it to teach me so much more than the stated goals of our study. Here’s one lesson.
A sweet girl named Aarti shared part of her story the first week I attended. She met the Lord (I love her phrasing) when she came over to America for college. Her Indian family remains Hindu. She has the sweetest heart and the most fervent prayers.
Last week, Jizhou shared part of his story. He also became a Christian when he came to America. His parents, as late as last week, did not approve. He has such faith and knowledge about the Word.
I heard tell recently of a girl who became Christian while at a Vacation Bible School. Her new-found faith kept her strong during her parents’ divorce and inspired her younger sister.
While sitting in the group meeting, I was astonished. I mean, the Bible study was on the order of, “What struck you about this passage?” The worship songs were fine, but our 15 weakly voices weren’t full of fervor. I started to think about my experience of church, and I became sort of incredulous that these foreigners held so strongly to their faith. I mean, what pulled them toward it? What did they see in an awkward Bible study, in people wearing Christian T-shirts, in attending a sweet church but having no one to sit with? How did they learn about the Bible? What deep theological truths could they possibly have gained from, “What struck you about this passage?” other than the typical answers of , “Pray more,” “Be nice to people”? What could they have seen in Christian culture?
Then, thankfully, Jesus struck me upside the head.
They saw HIM.
Somehow, through God’s incredible grace, feeble and awkward attempts at worshiping and teaching about Him point to this person. When they truly, finally, met Him, the mediocre Bible studies didn’t matter. Everything pointed to the supreme worth of Jesus Christ. It gave these people courage to defy everything they’d been raised to believe and to stand strong when their family (sometimes violently) opposed them. It gave that young girl a Rock to stand on as her world crumbled. Excuse me, not it: I mean He.
Jesus is everything.