BLESSED . . . BY NEW BEGINNINGS
Beginnings . . . a good word to describe the month of September: the beginning of the a “new congregational work year” (2014-2015) . . . the beginning of school (and our own Resurrection Lutheran School & Child-Care) and colleges . . . the beginning of cooler weather (though you wouldn’t know it from the first week of September this year!) . . . the beginning of a new Sunday School term and Confirmation Classes . . . the beginning of football (a favorite of mine!) . . . the beginning of Sanctuary Choir and the Sunday School Singers . . . the beginning of new friendships as we meet and greet new faces at worship and Sunday School / Adult Growth Classes. Beginnings is a good word to describe Resurrection as we enter September, 2014. Many exciting things will be happening. Be a part of your Resurrection family! Join in as we celebrate God’s continuing love and mercy – and all His many blessings! – as we celebrate God’s new beginnings in us through His Son, Jesus Christ!
Blessed by God . . . Through His Word
Resurrection has an excellent Sunday School program, utilizing Gospel-centered and well-prepared materials, having dedicated and willing Sunday School teachers, and perhaps, a great Sunday School Superintendent: Debbie Altman. Our goal in Sunday School is to help our children (and adults!) mature in their faith. I feel it is possible to double our present Sunday School attendance (children and adults) if we could dispel some myths about the Sunday School program.
Sunday School is just for children. WRONG! The Lutheran Church has always stressed the importance of Bible study for adults as well as children. How else do we mature in our faith unless we feed on God’s Word? And in this day of continuing education as a requirement in most professions, we should more easily see that as Christians, we need to continue our learning from God’s Word, the Bible, and its teachings for our lives.
I learn all I need to know about God and His Word from the worship service. WRONG! If this were true, why have a three-year Confirmation Ministry at Resurrection for our older youth? The same way we eat food to sustain our lives, so we must feast on God’s good Word for spiritual sustenance and growth (as Martin Luther’s prayer reminds us: “Blessed Lord, since you have caused all Holy Scriptures for our learning, grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn and take them to heart … ). Our worship services are designed for adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication – and yes, some learning does take place. But this does not substitute for in-depth study and group discussion of God’s Word in an Adult Bible Class or a Sunday School class.
I do not know enough about the Bible (or God, or doctrine, or the Catechism, or whatever, etc.) to be a part of a Bible Class. RIGHT & WRONG! None of us (including the Pastors and church leaders!) know enough about the Bible, or doctrine, or the Catechism, etc. – that is the whole purpose of attending a Bible Class or Sunday School: to grow in our knowledge and love of God who has blessed us so bountifully, so we may be “thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17).
There is not a place for me in the Sunday School program. WRONG! There is a place for everybody on every age level and every interest level! God lovingly invites us to be a part of growing in His Word. Also, our Board of Christian Education is always seeking the suggestions of members for ideas on specific studies and topics. Our Sunday School and Adult Classes not only provide excellent learning opportunities but also fellowship and support in a Christian atmosphere.
As Lutherans, we have a long-standing tradition that formal Christian education is vital for children. But often we are less convinced that it is just as vital for adults! Without continuing growth in God’s Word, we face life equipped with an 6th-grade Christian education to meet the challenges to our faith by the world, the devil and our own sinful nature. Paul reminds Timothy (2 Timothy 3:16-17) that the most important equipment a believer can have is the Word of God. God breathed His Word and it prepares us for the battles of everyday living. If we are fighting not against flesh and blood, but against Satan and his legions, what kind of fight can we muster if we are using primitive weapons – or worse: no weapons at all!? Would you want to function in the world with the skills you had in 6th-grade? Why should we be content to do good works which are limited by our growth in God’s Word?
If you ask God to open our hearts, minds and lives to the power of His Word, He will do it, and you will be equipped with the most modern weapons available for the “good fight of faith.” Resurrection will be equipped to carry out its mission and ministry with renewed strength and vigor! We can be a church alive and afire for the Lord!