Tonight was the first night for our small group in this fall session. I had no idea how many people to expect. We out grew the Meder’s house last fall, and last year the numbers ranged anywhere from 30 to 45 depending on the night. We have been meeting in the Grand Foyer of the church for almost a year now. Since we took most of the summer off, we were not sure how many people would make it back. But we had 50 on the email list last year. A couple of weeks ago at church we had another 15 that said they might come. So we had to plan for around 60, just in case everyone showed up.
How do you take a group of 60 and make it small and intimate. It’s hard. I know we shouldn’t have so many people, but what God seems to be doing in and through the group is so good, it’s hard to try and divide it into two groups. So what we are doing is breaking up into five smaller groups for our discussion and ministry time. We come together for the teaching and worship. Well, we had 61 people there tonight, and it worked out well. I don’t know how many will be back next week, but it’s not really about the numbers. It is about what God is doing. We have started a study on the book of Acts. Tonight we were to read chapters 1 and 2. Then ask the Holy Spirit to reveal new truth to us. Give us revelation that we hadn’t fully understood before. And He was faithful to answer our request. One of the things He showed me was that Jesus spent 49 days with His disciples talking and sharing after His resurrection. The only thing the bible says He talked about was “The Kingdom of God”.
That led me to this question. If I knew that I only had 40 days with my family and friends to talk and share before I died, what would I focus on? What would be my main focus as I talked with each of them? It would have to be the most important thing in my life. It would have to be the thing that they would need to know the most to carry on after I was gone. To Jesus it was “the Kingdom of God”. It wasn’t about church. It wasn’t even about religion. It was about the Kingdom. So that is probably where our focus needs to be as we live our daily lives. It should be about learning to release the Kingdom of God in every area that we live and minister. So this was one of the main focus points of my teaching.
But that got me to thinking about my time with Julia. She was snatched away so quick that we never had time to say goodbye, let alone talk about the most important things in our lives. In that regard, I am a little envious of people who have longer times of illness before they die. If they sense that it could be possible to die, they could focus on the important things with their family. I wonder if that really happens though. So many times we just tend to not want to face any possibility of death. I think that you can walk in faith and still deal with the reality of the possibility. It doesn’t mean that you have given up on healing; it only means that you care enough for your family to share things that need to be shared.
We really need to say the things that we often leave unsaid whether we are sick or not. I wish that I had been more loving to Julia. I have so many things that I would like to say to her; things that I will never be able to say in person on this earth. I’m not talking about feeling guilty. I’ve gotten over any feelings of guilt. These are just feelings of lost opportunity. We never should let an opportunity go by where we can praise our spouse and we don’t. Julia was one of the kindest gentlest people that I have ever known. Her love for me was so strong and I should have told her so much.
I never want to leave things unsaid again. Life is too short not to speak life into others. We all need to hear what’s important, no matter how long we have to live. It doesn’t have to be the last 40 days. It can be the last 40 years. Our words give life to others. Don’t hold them back!