Last Sunday’s Seeking

WelcomeIt is not often that I am invited to lead the discussion in a Sunday School class, but this Sunday I was invited to do that for a class at Waterford Mennonite Church.  Eldon told me about it many weeks ago and I had consented to tell some stories, but I had forgotten it. I had a week to prepare.

Jesus seekingI’ve often said that I am not prepared to preach until I had walked into the pulpit.  That is about the way it was this past Sunday.  I saw the word “Seekers” on the door of the class when I entered.  When the time came for me to speak, I immediately told them that I was glad to be among seekers, and reminded them that Jesus had come to seek.  Our mission as followers of Jesus is to seek.  It’s true isn’t it that the Good Shepherd of the sheep showed greater concern and exerted greatest energy for the one sheep that was lost than over the ninety-nine sheep that were safely lodged in the fold. So I told some of my seeker stories to the class, emphasizing that we don’t always know immediately the results of our seeking.  Sometimes the good that is done is known only after generations have passed by.

Here is a story I didn’t tell the class on Sunday. Rhoda and I were shopping in a Tampa mall when Rhoda’s prayer covering apparently identified us as Mennonites.  A woman we did not know came up to us.  She said, “I was once a Mennonite, but I moved away from the Mennonite Church and joined a Brethren in Christ Church.  Then I moved again and became a Mormon.”  “But,” she said with a huge smile, “I’m a born-again Mormon, and I’ve been baptized by the Holy Spirit.”

Mormon MissionariesShe walked away and was lost in the crowd before we could ask questions. She puzzled me, but I had the opportunity to ask questions a few days later.  Two Mormon missionaries came to our door.  I usually brushed them off, as I did with Jehovah’s Witnesses, also, but this time I invited them to come in because I had some questions to ask.

I told the missionaries about the woman who had talked to Rhoda and me.  Do you know what she meant when she said she was born again, I asked  They said they didn’t.  I told them I had heard there were  charismatic Mormons.  I asked them if they knew of this phenomena in the Mormon church, and did they know what the woman meant when she said she had been baptized by the Spirit?

They had no information to give me.  But they had a question.  “Wouldn’t I be comforted to know there were bishops who could tell me what the truth is?” they asked.  “No!” I promptly told them. I was a member of a church that had bishops who sometimes tried to tell me the truth, and attempted to guide me. I had learned to trust Jesus and the Holy Spirit to guide me.”

Next, they asked if I would pray for them.  “Yes,” I said, but only after they had prayed for me.  So they prayed for me, and I prayed for them.  We parted as friends.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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3 Responses to Last Sunday’s Seeking

  1. In my Sunday School class we started out as the writers of the lesson suggested. We compared the Sermon on the Mount from Luke and Matthew. But then we talked about some of the things Christ said. And then we talked about gossip and who our real enemies are and it was not the standard answers. And then we had a beautiful testimony from a young lady from another country about how her relationship with a threatening family member was totally healed. We all went away praising God with her and marveling at the love and redemption of our Savior. Now, that wasn’t where the lesson was “supposed” to go by either the writers, or how I’d thought it out. But, it sure went to where God wanted us to think. Lessons often come out like that. Praise God for that. Don’t forget to pray for your Sunday School teacher and your pastor.

    • I was taught that adults come to class with their own wisdom and that it is the teacher’s job to provide some beginning focus and then allow the class members to interact with the wisdom they brought to class. Class members could teach each other. I found it to be true, although I didn’t allow that to happen much last Sunday. I expect that will happen in succeeding lesson. Rachel told me that the class name “Seekers” was given to the class before any of the present members were there. She said she doubted that present members had thought much about it before last Sunday.

  2. Freda Zehr says:

    I liked your story of the Mormon Lady, Martin, when we lived in Wilmington in a housing development, I often got Mormons and also those eager young Jehovah witness stopping by. I always talked to them because I knew how I used to feel when I was young and had to distribute tracts on a Sunday afternoon and people were often unkind in their responses.
    I also found that I could listen tho their convictions and those of other faiths, Catholics,
    even become stronger in my own faith, yet understanding of them and not putting in a box as we so often do. God bless you and keep on keeping on!

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