For more than three years, I have had the privilege of leading a Bible study group on Capitol Hill comprised entirely of members of the House of Representatives. The study was established to fill a particular need for a forum that is deliberately nonpartisan, nondenominational, and focused on the study of the text of Scripture. Over the years we have studied books like Philippians, collections like the wisdom corpus, and themes, like expansive claims that God makes on our lives.
I have not been surprised to find a number of gifted and engaged men and women attend the study over the years. That would be expected on the Hill. The level of discourse has been vibrant, sincere, and at times challenging. I have also been deeply encouraged by the character of the people who join us each morning. The Capitol building has the reputation of being the “People’s House,” and that is reflected in the House of Representatives, a group that more closely mirrors the population than other representative bodies. I have seen this borne out in the autobiographies of the members I have met. They come from a variety of backgrounds; some are lawyers, of course, but there are also also doctors, local businessmen, and even a few ministers–all men and women who followed a unique call to government service.
In other words, what is perhaps most surprising to me is their ordinary humanity, their personal relationships (even across the aisle), and their care for one another. To sit with the group for the purpose of reading scripture and praying for one another has been a remarkable experience for me.
Here is my friend Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) discussing the group and John Stott’s commentary on the book of Romans, which is our current topic of study.