Small Groups are about to begin! Many of you have signed up already, but if you haven’t, please do so. The clipboard is downstairs by the kitchen. Small Groups are integral to the health and life of this church, and we really would love for everyone to become involved!
Once again, I’m going to give you a teaser from the book we are studying. Its title is ‘Love Walked Among Us : Learning to Love Like Jesus’ by Paul E. Miller. The parts I’m quoting are from Chapter 16, ‘Faith Means Losing Control’.
Early in the chapter, Miller tells us:
“The disciples didn’t put their faith in Jesus all at once. They went through a series of stages, almost like falling in love. Every time they thought they had Jesus figured out, he’d break out of their mold. Coming to understand Jesus was also inseparable from coming to understand themselves. To see Jesus was to see their inadequacy.”
Miller then fleshes this out, using multiple scriptural examples, followed by this illustration:
“C.S Lewis captures what faith feels like in a children’s story. A schoolgirl named Jill Pole goes to a stream to drink, but at the side of the stream lies a large lion. She stops.
The Lion tells her “If you’re thirsty, you may drink.” Jill hesitates. “Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion. “I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill. “Then drink,” said the Lion.
“May I – could I – would you mind going away while I do? Said Jill. The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl…”Will you promise not to – do anything to me if I do come?” said Jill.
“I make no promise,” said the Lion… “Do you eat girls?” she said. “I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill. “Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion. “Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I must go and look for another stream, then.” “There is no other stream,” said the Lion.
In this allegorical story, Jill represents us and the Lion symbolizes Jesus. Like Jill, we are drawn to the fresh water of the stream, but we fear the Lion. We don’t want to appear foolish, becoming a “religious nut,” yet our lives don’t work. Our feelings about Jesus are mixed.”
Miller then spends the rest of the chapter relating practical examples from his own life, to show the reader how we to can learn to trust more and love more.