Today, I went to the calling hours for the wife of my minister growing up. She was a lovely woman, always had a joyful smile and a word of encouragement ... and often had a glint of mischief in her eye. She truly loved the Lord and despite the difficulties of being the wife of a dedicated minister who put in long hours, that love shone through.
The visiting hours were long and there was a very long line waiting to show our love for the family. As I stood in that line with some of my family, I saw friends I haven't seen in years. Friends who whether they knew it or not had an impact of my life and faith.
I want the kind of love that drew all these people to the visiting hours to shine through me, not the cynicism I posted about last month. I want to draw others to Christ as she did. I want to learn love, joy, and peace. Deep peace.
Earlier in March I posted about teaching and learning from the Bible in Romans. "You then who teach others, do you not teach yourself?"
Paul is challenging the Jewish teachers of the law. I think this passage has a couple of meanings. First, you cannot teach what you do not know. You must have knowledge and understanding to do this teaching thing. But secondly, as you are teaching something do you not teach yourself. Do you not personally learn the lessons you present? That's what I think Paul is saying here; if you are so audacious as to claim to be a teacher, you had better learn and apply the lessons you teach. If I want to learn about love, joy, and peace ... if I want to claim to teach my children about love, joy, and peace ... I had best be learning and appropriating those lessons myself.
Jennifer Dow's guest post about Reveling in the Classics was so helpful in thinking about wonderful ways to learn and teach, but perhaps most importantly to what I learned in March, was how that takes place in community.
The pursuit of truth and virtue is a community endeavor. It cannot be done alone. If we are truly to revel in the classics, then we need each other.Whether that community is our local church - and boy has our pastor been hammering home that idea - or our family, learning that love, joy, and peace in deep and meaningful way - reveling in them - is best done in community.
And that's why I had to go to the visiting hours tonight: to see my past community, to consider my currently community, and to write to my internet community.
Thank you, dear reader, for being that for me and teaching me in so many ways.