With the COVID 19 virus out there, so many are taking precautions and quarantining. New England Bible College has closed the campus, and requested all professors to make alternate arrangements. My Spiritual Transformation instructor (for whom I’ve been making these recent posts) has advised me to keep up on my weekly readings, to make sure to complete my 10-15 page paper, and to increase the amount of journaling we do. The increased journaling will substitute for class participation. Susan R. and Pastor Q. read here with some regularity. Pastor Q. even sent me a request for fresh postings when I had been silent for four days. Perhaps those two will keep me accountable as well, and encourage me to get stuff up here.
On Sunday, Harmony Bible Church didn’t have our regular services. (See the COVID 19 junk above.) Pastor Q. produced an online video which was very good, and provided a suitable substitute for the morning worship service. But we didn’t have Sunday School, and that meant I had an extra hour and a half in my schedule. And did I use that for slowness and stillness and reflection? Of course not! I filled that hour right up with class reading. And in that reading I found this quote from Pastor Geoffrey Thomas. I emailed it to a friend. This friend has only been a Christian for a short while, maybe a year. We have seen remarkable growth in her, but she sometimes is frustrated about her knowledge. Most of the folks at Harmony have been Christians for years, and have been coming to Sunday School for a long time. They’ve spent a lot of time in the Word, and know a lot from years of reading and hearing. My friend wants to be at that level NOW, and feels odd that she doesn’t know all these Bible/Christian things that everyone else in the congregation just seems to know. I sent her this quote from the class reading from Sunday. I added some emphasis that I thought appropriate for her.
“Do not expect to master the Bible in a day, or a month, or a year. Rather expect often to be puzzled by its contents. It is not all equally clear. Great men of God often feel like absolute novices when they read the Word. The apostle Peter said that there were some things hard to be understood in the epistles of Paul [2 Peter 3.16). I am glad he wrote those words because I have felt that often. So do not expect always to get an emotional charge or a feeling of quiet peace when you read the Bible. By the grace of God you may expect that to be a frequent experience, but often you will get no emotional response at all.
Let the Word break over your heart and mind again and again as the years go by, and imperceptibly there will come great changes in your attitude and outlook and conduct. You will probably be the last to recognize these. Often you will feel very, very small, because increasingly the God of the Bible will become to you wonderfully great. So go on reading it until you can read no longer, and then you will not need the Bible any more, because when your eyes close for the last time in death, and never again read the Word of God in Scripture you will open them to the Word of God in the flesh, that same Jesus of the Bible whom you have known for so long, standing before you to take you for ever to His eternal home.”