Ancient Near East v Modern West, 4 Continents, 2 Oceans, 5800 miles, 2500 years
That's what separates Haggai from Cali, one of our Latino pastors. So it's pointless to try to get them together, right? Not according to Cali, and the others who attended this past Monday night. As soon as we started reading the text, both in English and Spanish, and before I even started my teaching, the connections became apparent. The people became real people, not just stories in a long-ago book. The struggles resonated deeply with these pastors' felt needs, ministry circumstances, and seemingly-overwhelming challenges. They connected through laughter, groans, cries of "Amen!," "I heard that before," and deep empathy with the struggles that Haggai faced, because they face them themselves. To me, it's one of the significant aspects of Scripture being Scripture – its ability to connect people from such radically different backgrounds nearly immediately in deep spiritual sympathy. They left encouraged, challenged, sobered and relieved all at the same time, re-centered once more on Christ alone for their ministry.