Challenges of different viewpoints

Over the last four or five months I have been tasked to being the Lutheran Response to a congregational wide Bible Study called the “Promised One”.  I have found this both challenging and profoundly empowering in my study of scripture.

I have always said that you see something new every time you read scripture.  I believe this is the work of the Holy Spirit and our own context and life experiences at the time of reading.  This all being said it reminds how truly remarkable God’s Word is for us.  

Nothing against Sunday school, but most of us have not moved much beyond the stories that many of us heard from our attendance back then.  I who have studied God’s Word as an adult for over 40 years find myself being surprised and amazed about what the texts are saying to me personally and to the world. 

God’s Word continues to remind me of my relationship to God thru Christ and how I live in relationship to my neighbor as Jesus shows us. In a chaotic and confusing world we get lost, losing sight of God’s love for us in the cross.  We sometimes forget the value of the people whose lives intersect ours.  Their value to God and their value for us.

As I help lead this Bible Study, I understand the resistance that we can have when we are challenged with differing viewpoints, the uncertainties of life and the changes in the world that confront us every day. It reminds me that I am never alone when I hear the assurance of God’s promises, God’s love and God’s forgiveness. 

Not always am I thrilled to hear what God’s Word says. In fact I will question inside my head, “Did God really mean that or what was Jesus thinking when he said that?” I bet I am not alone in that struggle. 

Better understanding God’s Word was one of the big reasons I became a pastor.  I can’t say that I have totally fulfilled that hope, but the journey to get there has been an adventure indeed!