Friday, August 19, 2011

Formation

Of all the things that contribute to my formation as a disciple of Jesus Christ, being part of a smaller group is one of the most significant. Here at Bethany, we talk about discipleship in the overlapping spheres of “worship, community, and mission”. In smaller groups, we live in Christian community and grow together in the likeness of Jesus. We have lots of opportunities to do this: Sunday School (soon to launch the fall season), the Cottage Bible Study, men’s lunch or breakfast groups, and evening home groups (soon to launch an additional group this fall). A couple groups that I am connected with have been reading from the Bible’s wisdom tradition, a lunch group from Proverbs and a breakfast group in James. There’s plenty of thematic overlap.

On guarding our speech:
When words are many,
transgression is not lacking,
but the prudent are restrained in speech
Proverbs 10:19

The tongue is a fire . . . a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
James 3:6, 8
On anger:
Fools show their anger at once,
but the prudent ignore an insult.
Proverbs 12:16

Your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.
James 1:20
And, from James, on both themes:
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.
James 1:19
The Scripture is a living text in which we hear God speak today. I encourage you to make plans to be part of one of our smaller groups this fall.

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