Pastor’s Pen January 2018

Written by Pastor's Pen - December 22, 2017 0 Comments

The Pastor’s Pen

A few weeks ago, on the first Sunday of Advent, we heard in our worship services this reassuring promise of Jesus: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Mark 13:31)

As we enter a new year, that’s not a bad promise to hold onto. We don’t know, of course, all that the new year will bring. We don’t know all the challenges and opportunities that will be set before us. We can’t predict the ways in which our lives and our world will be changed. But no matter what the coming year has in store for us, we have the promise that Jesus is with us. And we have the promise that his words – his Word – can be trusted. In the midst of an ever-changing world, the truth of God’s Word is a constant that we can rely on.

During this coming year, I invite us to enter more deeply into a personal understanding of God’s Word. Beginning the first week of January, I will be leading a Bible overview course called “Reading Biblical Literature – Genesis to Revelation.” The course consists of 36 DVD presentations by Dr. Craig Koester, a professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul. As we watch and discuss each of Dr. Koester’s engaging presentations, we will encounter the epic stories, inspiring characters, and major themes of the Bible in a fresh way. As we do, I trust that our reliance on God’s Word will be deepened.

Here’s what the course schedule will look like: Each lesson will be offered twice a week, on Thursday evening from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., and again on Sunday morning during the Adult Forum from 9:45 to 10:30 a.m. (Because the Thursday evening and Sunday morning presentations will be the same, participants only need to attend one.)

Lessons 1 through 6 will be offered from the first week of January until just before Lent. We will take a break during Lent, and then continue after Easter with lessons 7 through 12. After being off for the summer, we will cover lessons 13 through 24 in the fall. We won’t meet during Advent and Christmas. The last 12 lessons will be presented in the winter and spring of 2019, again taking a break during Lent. The course textbook will be the Bible itself.

To give you a sense of what the content of the course is like, here are the titles of the first six lessons – the ones we will cover from now until the beginning of Lent:

“The Bible as Dialogue” (Jan. 4 and 7)

“Creation and Chaos in Genesis” (Jan. 11 and 14)

“Abraham, Sarah, and the Promise” (Jan. 18 and 21)

“Jacob, Joseph, and Reconciliation” (Jan. 25 and 28)

“Moses and the Drama of the Exodus” (Feb. 1 and 4)

“Freedom and Law at Mount Sinai” (Feb. 8 and 11)

There’s no need to sign up in advance. Simply come to the church on Thursday evenings or Sunday mornings with a desire to learn.

I am looking forward to this opportunity to deepen our understanding of the Bible. I hope you will join me as we explore the fascinating the story of God and God’s people as revealed in the pages of scripture.

God’s peace be with you in the coming year.

Pastor Selbo

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