Tuesday, April, 2, 2019 | 11:30 AM | by Munholland
I was raised in First UMC Middletown. All my life I heard about the love of God, Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, and the Holy Spirit. However, they were only stories told to me until I went on staff at a place called Harvey Cedars Bible Conference. It was a Christian retreat center that had 150-250 people every week of the summer. I worked as a busboy, then as a cook. We worked hard, sang in a staff choir together, heard a lot of great speakers, worshiped, and had fun at the beach every afternoon. It was an amazing experience that deeply formed me as a follower of Jesus.
One of my friends there, Eric, particularly influenced me. Instead of going straight to the beach after lunch duties were finished, he would disappear for a short while. I noticed that he took his Bible with him. I asked if I could join him one day. We walked around the porch of the old whalers’ mansion that had become the hotel. We found a somewhat secluded, quiet spot where we sat down. He opened his Bible and started reading, so I opened my Bible and did the same. After reading, he prayed for a little bit, so I did the same . We would talk about what we read and what was on our minds. Then we prayed for each other. We repeated this day after day.
That was my first experience of having a peer who was proactive about his faith. He wasn’t waiting for a speaker to tell him what to think. He wasn’t dependent on a teacher to hear the stories of Scripture. He read, prayed, and talked about what he was learning and thinking. He was a mentor to me, who had never done this before. It began a lifelong habit that continues to transform me.
Do you need a peer to study with or pray with? Do you have a friend who is struggling with his or her faith that you can invite into the habit of study, prayer, and discussion? Jesus had His disciples go out two by two for a reason. We were never meant to go through this life alone. We aren’t supposed to deal with life’s difficulties by ourselves. As one person said to me, “Our salvation is tied up in one another.”
We are the body of Christ. We are called to help anyone who is suffering, doubting, or confused. In return, they help us in our struggles and weakness.
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in our hearts.” (Col 3:16)
Inviting you further into the Kingdom,