Friday, December 30, 2011

2012- the Year of the Word?

2012- the Year of the Word? It could be. It would  be nice if it would be. Right now we have about 20 people involved in Adult Bible Study on Sunday mornings. Our attendance at Ladies Bible Study is about 9 and Men's Bible Study once a month is about 4. There are 6 LYF members that attend Youth Bible Study this Fall. LWML has a Bible study and it draws about 15. Considering some overlap, let's say we have about 50 communicant members who are involved in some kind of study of God's Word at least monthly. When you consider that we have over 400 communicant members, that's only about 12.5%. There's room for improvement.

Moses stressed the importance of God's words when He told the Israelites, "These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." (Deuteronomy 6:6-9 NIV)

While I'm not suggesting that you redecorate your homes or get a "Ten Commandments" tattoo, it is clear that God wants us to hear and learn His Word. The benefits are clear from Scripture. St. Paul says that the Scriptures "are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 3:15 ESV) Peter confessed to Jesus, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." (John 6:68 ESV) Jesus Himself tells us, "If you abide in my Word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32 ESV)

If these things are true, then we can ill afford to think we are done with God's Word once we are confirmed. The words of God and of Jesus the Word of God made flesh at Christmas, are nourishing spiritual food that keeps our faith strong and healthy. Who would survive if they went a year without eating? Why would we do the same with our faith?

I encourage every communicant member of St. John who lives in the area to participate in at least one Bible study in 2012. For those of you who are away at school, I encourage you to look into Bible studies available on campus or at a nearby LCMS congregation. In January I will be placing a survey in the bulletin to help me plan Bible studies for the year. Let's make 2012 the Year of the Word at St. John, and "Stay Healthy" by feeding on Jesus and His words of eternal life!

Peace to you in Christ,
Pastor Merrill

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