December 2018 – From the Pastor

So, as we enter December, we do so while also contemplating the message and sermon part of our Sunday worship, part two!
Most of the time, Advent and the month of December follow a pre ordered or regular subject of scriptures. We hold up the traditional scriptures, which point to the coming of the Messiah, an amazing and exciting time all in and of itself.
Do you ever wonder sometimes, as we go through these annual seasons, how much of it settles us into a time of complacency? We’ve heard the story…how many times? An angel visits Mary and Joseph and Elizabeth, Zechariah loses the ability to speak because he didn’t believe, Joseph struggles with this situation, shepherds are watching their flocks and celebrate, angels sing from heaven, the wisemen watch and follow a star…Jesus is born…hope and peace and love and joy are alive and well! Children offer their fun and seriousness for a special program, we decorate the sanctuary, celebrate family….the routine plays on….
As we met, discussed and pondered the idea of returning to one service, one of the comments we heard was that Sunday had become more like “Bible Study.” Certainly we know that Worship is a time for us to give thanks and praise to a God who is present in our lives…but, “Bible Study” seems like a strange word…how can we give thanks and praise to a God for the things he does in our lives and for the ways he moves in our lives, without really being able to recognize how God might do that…by learning from his word?
In studying this very subject, we learn that God reveals himself as the Word and by the Word. In this way, we learn how God wants us to live and breathe and move in our lives. Without the word of God, we wouldn’t have all that he calls us to, our faith, life in our spirits, or the ability to worship and praise God. In one place, the author writes, “the Word of God is to worship, as air is to breathing.”
Second Timothy teaches us that: “16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God [a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Right after that, in Chapter 4:1-2, Paul reminds us with the utmost seriousness…”I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word.”
In other words, learning from God’s word, is how we learn the way God wants us to walk in life. Isn’t that a great thing? Hearing from and learning how to apply his word is the way of life…giving us a reason to give him praise. “Bible Study” and learning God’s word is what keeps our annual seasons fresh and exciting. Studying the Bible and going deeper, allows us to avoid the complacency in our faith that can shut down any semblance of growing closer to a God who gave us so much. Let us be in prayer and offer thanks that worship can be a time of learning and being energized! We are in charge of building God’s Kingdom here on earth aren’t we?
So as we move forward and embrace the message and how it is built from God’s Word, let us also be thankful and blessed by the way it goes deep and helps us celebrate this amazing time of year!
Hear ye, Hear ye….Merry CHRISTmas!