September 2010 Pastor’s Monthly Newsletter Article One year ago a group of Saint Peter members and friends, along with a number of others from Our Father Lutheran Church and St. Gabriel the Archangel Episcopal Church, took ninety days to read their way through the Bible. It was, to say the least, a remarkably inspiring experience, as we immersed ourselves in God’s word for 30-60 minutes each day. We followed the story of God’s involvement in this world from the miracle of creation to the shadowy images of time’s end. Along the way we experienced glory and wonder, brokenness and forgiveness, redemption and renewal. At the end of the road, there were sighs of relief, but also expressions of deep gratitude for the chance to walk this journey together.
The responses we received from participants were so positive, and so strong, that we immediately decided we’d offer another opportunity to read through the Bible in 90 days. Our Discipleship Team has chosen to do that this Fall, and we’ll begin on September 13. Small groups will most likely be offered on Mondays and Thursdays in the evening (depending on the size of the group that enrolls). Materials are available in the Narthex; stop by the Discipleship Team’s table before or after worship this Sunday.
I am especially grateful that this opportunity is being offered again. At the heart of the Lutheran movement is a firm belief in the power of God’s word. Luther reflected on this power in the third stanza of his best-known hymn, “A Mighty Fortress.”
Though hordes of devils fill the land, all threatening to devour us, We tremble not, unmoved we stand; They cannot overpower us. Let this world’s tyrant rage; In battle we’ll engage! His might is doomed to fail; God’s judgment must prevail! One little word subdues him.
One little word from God has the power to defeat even the devil himself. One little word from God has the power to transform our lives and our faith. As we claim in our Five Habits of Discipleship emphasis, when we spend time each day in God’s word, we believe that it will lead us into becoming the kind of people God needs us to be. Reading the Bible together in 90 days is a great way to open up our hearts and our lives to that power.
If you weren’t able to join us the first time we gave this venture a try, I want to personally encourage each and every one of you to sign on this year. We’ll read about twelve pages each day. We’ll gather once each week with our small group to reflect on the experience and encourage each other to keep up with our reading. And I’m confident that once again, when the season of Advent arrives, and we begin to read from the prophets, those ancient proclamations about the coming Christ will be more powerful for us than they ever have been.
I know that many of you have attempted to read through the Bible on your own in the past, and have fallen short of accomplishing it. Our experience from last year is that this is an effective way for us to help each other succeed in reading the entire Bible. Please consider joining us. Registration is open now, and we’ll kick off our reading on September 13. May the power of God’s Word transform your life this Fall!
God’s peace to you all,
David J. Risendal, Pastor