Last night we discussed Jesus' coming to absorb the wrath of God. As we talked, we focused on the justice of God, the mercy of God, the sacrifice and suffering of Christ, the meaning and significance of "propitiation," sin as treason, and the love of God.
Going into this, my desire was that our time would be a real discussion and not a lecture. I think we all know that much more learning and life change comes from group communication than one-way communication. Therefore, right at the outset last night I told our church family that we were going to have a group discussion.
I said simply, "What did you think of chapter 1?" Then I waited. I must say that I was thrilled that discussion began almost right away. Lots of people participated. It was wonderful.
I do not write this post to commend this particular book. It's a fine book, but many others would do just as well (one good thing about this particular book is that the chapters are very short, thus encouraging more people to actually read it).
The point was that we discussed it as a group. As we talked, there was a spirit of community, togetherness, and mutual edification. I know I gained a lot from it and I think everyone else did as well.
As I think about this, I have to say that I'm beginning to seriously doubt the effectiveness of what is known as "the sermon." One-way communication is just not that effective. Might there be a way to take the existing sermon and transform it into more of a group discussion? I'm pondering this.
Anyway, this post is just a little reminder of the joy of group discussion and edification. We learn better when we learn together.