So I last posted about my word of the year, “joy.” While I have been focusing on ridding myself of bitterness and living the abundant life I should be living, I sort of almost forgot about the joy part of it all…until Sunday.
(I know I haven’t written much about the little man in awhile, who has basically been my blogging focus. He’s doing wonderful, and I promise (mostly to grandparents!) that I’ll fill you in more on him in the next couple of weeks!)
Backing up a bit…I debated with myself for a long time whether or not to join in on the new Beth Moore study on James at church. I’ve done her studies before, and I absolutely love her insight into Scripture and her style of writing. However, I was pretty worried about doing all the “homework” each week. I barely fit in the things I need to get done each day, much less adding in 30-45 extra minutes of in-depth Bible study 5 days a week. Plus, I’m serving in our AWANA ministry by playing with two-year-olds (“Puggles”) which just happens to meet at the same time. But, after prayer and thought, I decided it was time for me to do another in-depth, group Bible study outside of my reading through the Bible during the year and Sunday morning small group study. I decided that since there were 3 other Puggles leaders, I could be out for several weeks, and the others all seemed fine with my decision. I was definitely convinced that I needed to do the study when I realized it was only 8 weeks and a little shorter than the other studies I have done. I started the study a week ago and was immediately hooked. I have always loved the book of James, and am excited about diving in and learning more about it. So, I did all my weekly homework…even though the last one I was semi-frantically trying to finish up on Sunday afternoon!
This past Sunday evening was our second video session. It was very, very technical. Beth spent an hour talking about James 1:1 – “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.” I won’t share all the details about the verse, but I will say that I had no idea that one seemingly simple verse could hold so much meaning and reveal so much about a person. Anyway, after making it through all the “technicalities” of the verse, the final point of the lesson was James’ salutation “Greetings” or “chairein” in Greek. Guess what it means…“Joy to you.” The conclusion emphasized that “joy is our birthright,” and “through this study, we will take our joy back.” I was covered in goose bumps! Such a “God-thing.” He knew, of couse, exactly what I needed! All the sudden I remembered how much I want to focus on ridding myself of bitterness, seeking joy, and having my birthright of joy back. I cannot wait! I am looking forward to seeing how God works in my life through the study of James in the next 8 weeks!