This coming Sunday marks the first of six straight weeks in which our adult Bible classes here at Central are pairing up with one another in an effort to better live what we preach in intergenerational, multi-cultural relationships. If you’re one of our members at Central, for six straight Sundays you’re going to be in a Bible class with people who are not your age. Their kids won’t be the same age as your kids. Their salaries might not match yours. Some of these people may come from completely different backgrounds, have completely different viewpoints, and sport a completely different skin color than yours. For six weeks a lot of you will listen to teachers you’ve never heard in a classroom you’ve never visited.
It’ll be different.
We’re all going to be pushed out of our comfort zones. We’re all going to experience a little vertigo as we get used to the different people and different styles. We’re all going to have to give a little, to bend a bit, to sacrifice and serve to make this happen.
It’ll be difficult.
But this is not a move to disorient us. It’s actually intended to orient us. This is an effort to orient us to that blessed day when all of God’s children are together around that one table at the eternal wedding feast of the Lamb. Different colors and languages, different ages and styles, different backgrounds and sets of experiences — yet, one people around one table.
That glorious day is coming. God has promised it, Christ Jesus died and was raised for it, and the Holy Spirit is working toward it. And we should live our lives today in great anticipation. We should be leaning into it daily. Looking forward to it, practicing it, getting ready for it.
It’s only an hour on Sunday mornings for just six weeks. But our prayer is that it’ll go a long way in helping us experience and express our Father’s holy will for his Church.
The 1,000th posting on this five-year-old blog is going to happen before the end of October. And I’d like to celebrate that weird little milestone by giving you, the readers, brand new copies of some of the great books that have informed and shaped my thinking and writing and preaching. We’ll hold a drawing on the day of that 1,000th post. The only way to enter the drawing is by posting comments between now and then — see the end of yesterday’s post for details on how you can enter your name up to 14 times. You can enter multiple times, but you can only win one prize.
Grand Prize – all three books in John Mark Hicks’ series on the sacraments of the Church of Christ: Come to the Table, the book that launched my continuing quest to better understand Christ’s meal; Down to the River to Pray, a wonderful call to restore Christian baptism to the center of the life of the Church; and A Gathered People, a beautiful look at the ways God works in our corporate assemblies to transform us into the image of his Son.
First Prize – Resident Aliens, Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon
Second Prize – Surprised by Hope, N. T. Wright
Third Prize – The Reason for God, Timothy Keller
Fourth Prize – The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis
Fifth Prize – The Jesus Way, Eugene Peterson