That's close to a direct quote from one of the students in the middle class this morning. It made me blush, but it's true. Our lesson today was liberally peppered with an amazing amount of sharing from class members about how their own lives have taken similar turns as were described in the Psalms we've been studying -- and how, by leaning on their faith in God -- they've been able to work through the hard times. In spite of me, the Holy Spirit is working in our class as we continue to go through our lessons. We've been in Psalms for a few weeks now. Today, we were looking at Psalm 5 and Psalm 6. We didn't even get through Psalm 6, so we'll be picking up with that again next week.
It's funny, I wasn't really looking forward to a verse by verse treatment of Psalms and had been looking for some material that I could use as a teacher's guide that would get us through Psalms without having to spend a bunch of time going through each verse. I was scared that we would end up spending years working through the book and that the class would get bored. Well, I'm sure that it's too early too tell if the class has the fortitude to stay in the same book for a few years, but based on the excited responses I've received over the past month, I think the class will enjoy an extended tour of the Psalms.
It's helped that I discovered another good book, The Message of Psalms 1-72: Songs for the People of God (The Bible Speaks Today) that I'm leaning on when preparing my lessons. I was fortunate to find a paperback copy for about $10 at the local Christian book store. I might should go ahead and pick up a copy of The Message of Psalms 73-150: Songs for the People of God (The Bible Speaks Today) while I can easily get it in paperback. Another great help is that I've been able to carve more time out for my class preparation. I had recently been embarrassingly slack in my preparation and every Sunday was a miracle as God managed to touch my class members in spite of my poor preparation. If anyone has suggestions about other reference material that would be helpful, let me know.
Today, after class, when several people came up and told me how much they enjoyed the lesson and how thankful they were for the hard work I put into the lesson preparation, it was the first time in months that I was able to accept the compliments without feeling like a fraud. I think I'm back in the swing of things with my Sunday School class and I feel really good about it again.