Chapter VIII The Bible Study

September 14, 2016

Chapter VIII The Bible Study

The respect that Paul had for Dr. Alvarez increased from the day he met him and helped unload and set up their pre-fab house. More than once he heard that the farmers were pleased with his ability to treat their sick livestock.

What Paul had a hard time understanding was why Dr Alvarez and his wife felt such an urge to form an evangelical church in the community. Paul wasn’t much interested in attending a Bible study. He didn’t want to offend Dr. Alvarez so he didn’t turn down his invitation to go to the Bible study; neither did he promise to go. He had decided he wasn’t going, but two days before the night of the Bible study his next door neighbor came over and said he was going to go and asked Paul to go with him. Paul told him he would have to talk to Mary and see shat she had planned.

When he asked Mary about it she said, “Why don’t you go? I think I better stay home with Priscilla because she still hasn’t fully recovered from diphtheria.” Paul said “I can stay home with Priscilla. Why don’t you go and I’ll go next week?” Mary agreed to that and Paul told his neighbor that he would go with him next week.

While Paul was at work he thought of the commitment he had made to go to the Bible study with his neighbor the following week. In his heart he was thinking, “Perhaps something will come up to prevent me from going.” He had been somewhat turned off on religion by the experience he had with it when he was a child. It was a succession of “Hail Mary’s” and reading from what they called “the prayer book.” He was almost sure the Bible study would make him feel uncomfortable.

Mary’s experience with religion was much like Paul’s had been. When she came home from the Bible study she explained to Paul that it wasn’t anything like she anticipated. She said the man read a portion from the Bible and explained to them what it meant.

When Friday came Paul hadn’t found an excuse for not going to the Bible study with his neighbor. When they arrived he was surprised to find a number of their neighbors seated in the front yard. There wasn’t room in the little pre-fab house for so many people. Dr. alvarez introduced the engineer to them. He appeared to be a very common, sincere man. He read a portion from the Gospel of John and explained what it meant. After his explanation he said, “Now this is what we call a Bible study. It has nothing to do with religion. The Bible is a very practical book that needs to be read, studied, and obeyed.”

At the end Dr. Alvarez thanked them all for coming and invited them all to come again the next Friday evening. Mrs. Alvarez also spoke up and asked if the close neighbors would please bring chairs or benches. A number of the men had to stand up during the meeting because they didn’t have enough chairs. Several said they would do that.

For Paul and Mary, the Bible study wasn’t anything like they expected it to be. Paul was surprised that it was possible to talk so openly and informally about the Bible while seated in the front yard of a house. They both decided to go again the next Friday and take Charlie and Priscilla with them.

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