As a Pastor, the primary source of all of my teaching and preaching comes from the Bible (written Word of God). This should not be a surprise. I hope. The Bible is amazing and I find something new in it every time I read it. I could go into a whole Biblical and Theological explanation about why this happens but just go with me here. It does.
One of the really amazing pieces of this is how God’s love comes to us in so many different and remarkable ways. For many, not all, the Bible seems to be filled with stories of God’s wrath and judgment. A lot of preachers will make that the primary themes of their preaching and teaching. I can understand where this comes from, but to me, it is clearly a limited view of what God says and does in the Bible.
Whether it is Old or New Testament there are stories that show God’s love in some really unexpected ways. Martin Luther writes that we are called to look at the Old Testament through the eyes of Jesus. Which means we see the truth of the human condition of the time (the Law) and we pay attention to where God’s love brings wholeness despite the brokenness (the Gospel).
The New Testament reveals God’s love primarily in Christ, but also in the words and actions of the followers of Christ. It may be easier to teach and preach the Law, but it is the Gospel that points to the promise and power of God’s love. The Gospel is not just the first 4 books of the New Testament but rather it is the Good News of God’s love for the world in Jesus Christ. I see God’s love every time I read the texts for the upcoming week, some part more obvious than others, but always there.
Too often we use God’s Word as a weapon to hurt others or defend our point of view. I see God’s Word as the voice of God speaking through the words and deeds love of for all generations, those who went before and after us. I see God’s love in God’s Living Word!