To my sweet surprise, my life is now made up of Word journeys. Fantastical adventures, as it were, with books and characters, stories and letters, worlds and kingdoms, ideas and truths – all which serve to shape me.
Most recently, I took a six-month journey with The Preacher. THE Preacher, y’all. And another preacher. And about a dozen friends. On Facebook. Sorta. Here’s what happened . . .
My church announced a new sermon series on the book of Ecclesiastes. So, of course. . .
I got a group of friends together. Now typically, I get a group of friends at my church to join me, or maybe a housemate or random other friend. But this time, I called upon a particular, rather unique Facebook community of Christian singles of which I am devotedly a part. I “advertised” my idea in this group of almost 500. About 30 responded, about a dozen became active participants, and about six of those were straight up rockstars . . . because this thing was a doozy! Here’s what we did . . .
I created a private Facebook group and added my study buddies. I shared study tips and suggestions, and then we were off on our journey! Each week, I posted a portion of Ecclesiastes and then proceeded to offer daily assignments designed to guide us on the path of discovery. It might sound odd, and yes, it had its moments, but on the whole, it was a regular good ole time! Now, about the two preachers I mentioned . . .
One of the preachers on our journey was my pastor who preached the sermon series. Actually, he doesn’t know he was on this journey, but he certainly was, because after we had hashed out the passage ourselves, we listened to his corresponding sermon. So, basically the icing on the cake. The other preacher? Well . . .
Ecclesiastes is written by a man who self identifies as “The Preacher.” This preacher also had no idea he was on this journey with us, but, um, yes. We spent a great deal of time with him. We read every word he said many, many times. We questioned him and shook our heads at him and laughed at him and created emoji codes to visualize and remember what he was saying. And honestly, I think, for the pessimistic guy that he is, he’d be rather delighted . . .
Because The Preacher’s surprising and captivating words are now burned into my soul. When you enter twelve depressing chapters about vanity and come out on the other side with a weird new sense of joy and purpose? I mean, that’s a strange way to snap my heart into place, but sure, I’ll take it! And while you might now be curious to read the book of Ecclesiastes itself, my greater purpose in sharing this experience with you is to challenge you to do the same . . .
Grab a sermon series and a few friends, gather online, and do this thing! Make social media serve you in an eternal sort of way, and start your own Word journey today!
[photo credit: unsplash.com]