Monday, February 22, 2010

On Coffee Shop Bible Studies (or Seminary Grads Don't Have a Monopoly on the Holy Spirit)

Britt and I were sitting in Starbucks tonight doing some work when I saw four young black men sitting together while one of them taught from a tattered Bible.  He was reading from one of the accounts of Jesus' call of the first disciples- maybe Mark 1:16-20.  I couldn't hear much of what he said specifically, but I caught the words "steep expectations" as the smile of a serious disciple formed on his face.  I couldn't help but to sit and stare for a bit, even knowing I was breaking social protocol.

Something about this sort of thing always affects me.  I have seen plenty of coffee shop Bible studies before, but every time I think, "Isn't that great- look at how those brothers of mine are reading God's Word right over there, and I've never even met them." That, I think, is what I love: that people I have never seen before are talking about the same Jesus in the same Bible by the same Spirit that I have.

Whatever else he said- there was another something about how these men left their fathers in their boats to follow Jesus in connection with those steep expectations- I wonder why it is that I can sit and think, "You'll have to use me and all my wisdom if you're going to do anything in my church, Lord." That is clearly false, as evidenced by this man's patient listening and teaching.  He was clearly invested in these other men, who looked a couple years younger than he was, and they sat for a few hours around the Bible.

Well-worn Bibles are in the hands of brothers and sisters all over the place.  This is a joyful realization.  God's Spirit doesn't need me- He's using plenty of others.  It is my privilege to be a part of it, and for that matter, to witness the parts of it that others play.

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