Am I right?
As I mentioned yesterday, I drove to Point Pleasant for a lay speaker training session. Pt. Pleasant is a little less than an hour from here. I have, of course, been there before, but yesterday was the first time that I have driven it on my own.
I knew the way -- it was straight up Route 2. I knew what to do when I got there -- I had good directions to find the church. What I had failed to do was to find out how many miles it was to Pt. Pleasant from home. It wasn't that important -- I knew if I kept driving I would get there. Steve had told me to allow 50 minutes for the trip, and I knew that I had left Starbucks in Barboursville at 8:10 -- 50 minutes earlier than the class was to start.
What occurred to me as I drove was that I had no way to gauge along the way how I was doing time wise. I didn't want to be late, but all I could do was to keep driving, and hope that I would make it on time.
I wondered if this were a good comparison, in some ways, to life. We travel the road. God has pointed out to us the right directions and the right Way, but we don't have any idea how long the trip will be. We have a vague idea of our destination, but no real grasp on what it will be like. We don't know what will happen along the way -- what stops might be necessary or called for. We just trust that God is with us.
I taught a lesson today in Sunday school based on Revelation 21:9-22:5. It is a section of scripture dealing with heaven -- what will heaven be like. I wish I had written down the list we made in class. I may try to reconstruct it for the blog.
We got to this verse (21:27):
Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.I asked the class if that verse made them uncomfortable. One class member said that he wondered just how big the abomination had to be to prevent entry. When I read it, I worry that same kind of thing. I have a picture of heaven growing up that had gates, with a gatekeeper, and a book of life. If I've not done well enough, then I don't get to enter. That's a pretty common image, isn't it?
I told the class today that no abomination was too big to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus. I told them that we had nothing to worry about. We had already made our choice to follow God. He has given us grace, and he will keep his promise. We have ALREADY entered the kingdom of God, and death has been made inconsequential. I've told this same kind of reasoning to our Wednesday evening class.
I look at the Wesley quadrilateral, and I feel as I'm relying pretty heavily on the "reason" part of the 4-square. I wonder tonight if I am right. I wonder tonight if I've been leading them in the wrong direction. If it is the wrong direction, it's a huge mistake to make on my part. I say that I am relying on the "reason" portion of the quadrilateral because if seems right to me. It feels like the God that I think I know.
This being a teacher is tough.