- + When I got in, one of our home Bible study group leaders was already here. He'd brewed coffee and wanted to share how much he and others were getting out of Bible study, how it was "the best thing this church has done," and how much he hoped that I was planning to encourage a new round of study after the current one wraps up. He talked about how he and others were now reading the Bible on a regular basis, apart from the lessons assigned for their groups, and how much they appreciated the relationships that were being built up through the groups. He shared his excitement about really getting to know what Jesus said, and about applying it to life in the church and world.
- + Right after this, an "8 o'clock" woman dropped in to review her funeral plans. She was decisive about it being a worship service, and she wanted her file to have clear notes ruling out eulogies, rote reading of an obituary, photo displays in the church or any other cultural trappings - "they can do all that the night before if they want," she said. She wanted hymns that expressed the joy of her resurrection hope - "For All the Saints" was at the top of her list.
Some days, you think you are wasting your breath. Other days, God sends wonderful people to remind you that "his word will not return empty" (Isaiah 55:11).
Thank you, Father, for these gifts today.