This has been an insanely busy summer... vacation, a new nephew, mission trips, fundraisers, cleaning at the church...
So I have tried to make my summer a bit easier by working through Romans with the congregation.
In some ways, it hasn't been that bad. Each piece kind of follows on the one before it, so I am continuing a train of thought about grace and mercy for us and others all summer long.
But last week, I combined chapters 9 and 10 and talked about how Paul was just aching in his bones with grief for his brothers and sisters who had rejected Jesus Christ.
I asked the church to think of their friends or family members who were resistant to the gospel or had left the church or had never been told about the good news of Jesus Christ. I asked them to think about the people their own hearts ache for.
I know that there are many who have personally expressed to me concern about a loved one. I have commiserated, having a husbad who isn't really into God himself(see "Lost My Religion").
But there was something about what the Holy Spirit did in that sermon that really moved people. Everywhere I looked, people were wiping their eyes, trying not to tear up, or digging out a tissue.
I think there are so many people in this world who really want to share their faith and share the love of God and they just don't know how. They are afraid of rejection, they are unsure of their own story, and they "know" their family too well.
Just watching those tears come last Sunday opened my eyes to the real need for a group who is interested in learning about faith sharing. In practicing faith sharing. In having a community who is just as genuinely heartsick as they are to tell others about the love of God they have found.
I have one lesson plan that I have written about evangelism and the gospel of Mark, but it is more of a thinking sort of study, than a heart/practical look. Any suggestions of places to start?