In the next couple of weeks as we wind down this year, plan summer studies (which will include GREEK studies...I'm so excited), and gear up for the fall, I will be making more homeschool related posts. For now, I'm just musing.
Last week I attended my first Bible study meeting with a group of ladies from church. I was so blessed by the fellowship and had to ask myself WHY it had taken me so long to join in. Our pastor's wife is leading the study, and I love the way she facilitates the group. Instead of picking a book or passage of scripture to study, she asks each of us to pray for God's guidance in choosing a passage that we feel led to dig deeper into. We share these passages with the group and then set about digging into them together--one passage at a time. I was so confused by the format at first, but so far I really like the concept.
The first passage we looked into was Revelation 3: 14-16--
"And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: 'The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation."'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."
In reading this passage, I had always assumed that "cold" was a bad thing. However, our assignment was to research the water systems of Laodicea and the surrounding areas. In doing so I discovered that Laodicea did not have natural springs and consequently had to shuttle in water from their neighbors. Hierapolis had amazingly hot springs known for their healing qualities. Colossi had naturally cold springs that were prized for purity. Being mineral waters, both hot and cold were very palatable. However, once the waters traveled the course to Laodicea, they were lukewarm and not very clean. Laodicea was well-known for this murky, lukewarm unpalatable water. So, being distant from hot was not the issue, as cold was also a good thing. The problem was the distance from the source, and all the polution and bad consequences that distance brought.
This new knowledge illuminates the passage. Too often my focus gets tangled up in me. This passage now helps me to see, though, that the point is not about me mustering up ways to be "hot." The point is me drawing closer to the Source. In doing so, He will clear the waters of my soul and empower them with healing and purity.
As usual, I was reminded of another song. If you've never listened to Sara Groves, you should. She is a very talented singer/songwriter. Her songs have often resonated in my heart. The words below are from her song, "You Are the Sun," and they emphasize this same point.
You are the sun shining down on everyone
Light of the world giving light to everything I see
Beauty so brilliant I can hardly take it in
And everywhere you are is warmth and light
And I am the moon with no light of my own
Still you have made me to shine
And as I glow in this cold dark night
I know I can't be a light unless I turn my face to you
Shine on me with your light
Without you I'm a cold dark stone
Shine on me I have no light of my own
You are the sun, you are the sun, you are the sun
And I am the moon
And I'll end with a favorite verse, John 15:5:
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
So, be encouraged, dear friends, for "nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:37. Turn your face to Him. Abide in Him. Draw in close to the Source. He's waiting.