Monday, September 23, 2013

Methodists Didn't Carry Bibles Back Then ...

Yesterday I was given an amazing opportunity ... I was told I was teaching one of our most senior adult Sunday school classes.

It was a just a tiny bit outside the scope of my ministry, but I'm on the staff at a large church now and a lot of people still don't know who I am.  And I guess being a pastor on staff means I get to go to Sunday School, really for the first time since I was called into ministry as my vocation.

Directing worship for the last eight years didn't really leave a lot of room for Sunday morning Bible study.

So, generally, if it's possible in the Sunday morning schedule, I accept invitations to teach class.

Except, I don't really like to teach, per se - I really like to chat.  I like to get people to tell me their stories.  I was given the lesson I was to teach this class, and it was pretty good and all, but I figured it was a great opportunity for a few senior members of the church to tell me what was what on their faith journeys.

As we started our conversation, one of the members of the class, a widow of a former preacher of our church shared this interesting tidbit from her time growing up Methodist (and I'm talking before there was such a thing as United Methodist):
"Methodists didn't carry around Bibles growing up, the Baptists did that.  I walked into class one day with my Bible and people asked me if I was teaching the lesson."
Now, here was a lady that was convicted that walking, literally, daily with the Word was the right thing to do.  It's an interesting story.  Do you carry around a Bible with you on a daily basis?  If you're like me, you know you have an internet of translations at your fingertips within your phone.

But that's not necessarily something people are going to catch you reading.

Growing up Baptist, I can attest to her analysis ... A phone, which is a symbol of connectedness, is also a symbol of detachment from the world around you.  Carrying around a Bible and actually pulling it out to read might invite controversy into your life, it might invite conversation with those around you, but that might be worth it.