Years ago, one of our Adventist magazines published a parable about a dreadful swamp. As people passed along the path going through it, they were often overcome and fell in. Their dying cries could be heard all through the nearby village. It was terrible.
The people held a village council. In fact, they held many councils. Various theories and papers were presented analyzing the cause and sometimes even proposing solutions. But nothing was ever done except to continue meeting and talking. Eventually, money was raised to build a soundproof meeting room so that the cries of the lost and dying would not disrupt the ongoing discussions. But nobody did anything to help those who were in trouble or to try to stop more people from being lost in the swamp. They just talked.
The church as a whole and your Sabbath School class in particular don’t want to be like the people in that village. We love our time together to pray, think, share, and discuss. But we long to go beyond this and actually do something for and with those around us. We want to make a difference in our communities and around the world. We want the work to be finished, and we want Jesus to return.
This quarter’s lessons are designed to focus attention on getting out there and doing something. We will examine many wonderful Bible stories. We will read about exciting experiences and illustrations. We will learn about resources to assist us in reaching out to our neighbors (especially to those without Christian backgrounds). The real focus, and heart, of each lesson is what will be shared on Thursday each week—a challenge to get out and do something.
Thursday of each lesson includes a careful progression of challenges. As the quarter continues, there will be subtle (and not so subtle) increases in the challenge. The goal is for each of us to take the challenge, pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us, apply what we’ve learned, and then discuss how it went. This will be a time of sharing—both about what went well and what didn’t. As we share, the group will generate ideas. Prayer lists will grow (personal and collective).
It is our hope that this quarter will be remembered as the time when the Holy Spirit took our humble efforts and worked mission miracles for the honor and glory of His name.