After an interesting discussion about points of controversy that have emerged in class recently, M mentioned (gently) that some of the people here are kind of full of themselves and how he got the cold shoulder yesterday when he wanted to work with a particular group. We talked about how "knowledge puffs up, but love builds up" (1 Corinthians 8:1), and in his quiet, sincere voice, M told us that he doesn't care what grade he gets in his classes as long as he's drawing closer to Jesus and being transformed into His image. He's here for life change, not information.
He said that last weekend, he talked to Cesar for a while about why our church isn't growing and that he (M) thinks the four of us plus the Cubases ought to start meeting to work on making that change. It seems too good to believe that people within the church would start expressing leadership on their own and leading us to evaluate ourselves and change so that we can more accurately reflect the heart and purposes of God.
The other guy, J, talked a little too about what this month has meant for him. One of his stumbling blocks (I'd say) is a rigidity about things that maybe aren't so rigid-- secular music, for example-- and a resulting tendency to turn people away by accident. J said he has loved being together with all different kinds of believers and realizing that the Church is a universal family and not our one congregation. We have so many differences, but held together in Christ, those differences can be a blessing and not a curse.
I'll leave you with an illustration M used as he described to us what he sees happening here. "Maybe we're not capturing everything and what we gain here is only the smallest seed," he said, "but a small seed grows and some day becomes a very large tree."
He was referring to a parable about the Kingdom of God that we read recently in our Gospels class from Matthew 13:31-32, "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches."
The Lord has planted a seed and the trees are just beginning to grow, but we believe by faith that the day will come when the influence of these men will be vast and people from near and far will be blessed by their lives and their faith.