When Sean gave me the rota for leading bible study in Zac's I checked for when I was on holiday in February but didn't think to look at this week. So it was a bit of a surprise when, in the middle of Tuesday afternoon, I looked at it and saw that down for leading that evening were 'Martin/Liz?'
I hurriedly did some preparation but decided that, as Martin has a habit of landing me in it, I'd play the innocent and when he asked me if I'd prepared I'd say, 'No, you're leading it, aren't you?'
At tea-time Ric told me that Martin wouldn't be in Zac's that evening. Triple plop! I couldn't wind him up.
Martin was there but told me he'd have to leave early and when he gave me the reason - totally justified - I felt bad.
I'd prepared the wrong section ...
I've come to the conclusion that if you want to cunningly plan successfully you have to be both evil and very smart.
What made it worse was that we'd already done the bit I'd prepared ...
I blame it on the fact that John is a bit repetitive in his first letter, or, as one of the Zac's regulars said, 'Boring as hell.'
Still it was a good night. Some good stuff covered and discussions entered into. We've a few people who are struggling to let go of stuff and, no matter what you say or assurances you give them, they don't hear. They can't hear until they're ready.
Rowland, our wise elder, commented on the bit in the passage that mentioned faith and belief and talked about the difference between them. You can believe in something e.g. that this bus is going to town, but unless that causes you to do something, such as get on the bus, it's not yet faith. (I haven't explained that as well as he did.)
You can believe but be independent; when you have faith you are dependent. You can believe there's a god but until you have faith you live your life independently of him.
Anyway, Martin was very good. He's very reluctant to lead the study - hence his frequent excuses - but when forced into it is more than able. He has loads of knowledge and did a great job.