Virtual Bulletin – 10/31

October 31st, 2021 – Reformation Day

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF:  Nov 1st – Nov 7th

Monday………………..             All Saints Day

Tuesday……………….             All Souls Day

                                                 7:00pm             Elders Meeting

Wednesday…………..               5:30pm            Confirmation

Thursday: ………………           10:00am           Bible Study

Saturday……………….            Beef on Weck

                                                 Change your Clocks – DST ends

Sunday: ………………….          10:00am           Worship

                                                11:00am           Bible Study

COMMEMERATIONS

We will observe All Saints in church next Sunday, but the actual day is November 1st.  Gregory III in the 730s took a day that had been “All Martyrs”, reformed the hodgepodge of churchwide saint day commemorations and created All Saints – A day set aside to remember the Church at Rest, be they from the often unnamed martyr throng or the local memory of holy people.  All Souls has always been a companion but with varying meaning.  At its core it was a remembrance of all faithfully departed.  And in many places it is a decoration day for the graves of departed family.  If you are Roman Catholic these souls are those still in purgatory, so still part of the Church Militant.  For a Lutheran, a memory of grace.  Maybe nobody called [insert your dear relative] a saint, but grace was still theirs by the work of Christ.  And we look forward to our reunion on that “yet more glorious day” in the Church Triumphant with all souls claimed by Christ on their forehead and their heart.  

LEADERSHIP ENCOURAGEMENT – by John Bayer – “Good Places to Start”

Personal Bible study, devotions, quiet time or whatever you call it is a thorny topic for Christians, especially if reading is not your thing.  Finding the time to actually read anything these days is understandably difficult.  Just look at the rise in the popularity of audible books! 

The struggle to regularly read is often compounded by the Bible’s size and scope. We know it’s good food for the soul but when we pick it up, it may as well be “War and Peace.”  It’s huge as anyone who has read it cover to cover knows.  So may I suggest a couple of good places to begin?

A New Testament suggestion is the Gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Easy to understand in our ESV Bibles (I’ll give you one if needed), they somewhat synchronize the story of the New Testament’s beginning, including the life of Christ and his interaction with the disciples. Be forewarned however, if you start with Matthew, the first 17 verses are the tedious-to-read genealogy of Jesus, maybe not important to a more casual reader, but extremely important to theologians, pastors and maybe some hobby theologians.  You might want to go from 1:1 directly to 1:18 unless you’re really interested.

If you’re very familiar with the four gospel books and want something else in the New Testament,  then jump into Acts or the letters books that follow.  You might hold off on the book of Revelation for a while.  That one is a little tricky.

If you want to cut your teeth on some Old Testament reading, I really enjoy the “book of beginnings”, Genesis, where you learn details of creation and the generations which follow. You quickly get into the stories of Noah, Abram and Sara, Isaac, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and others.  In Genesis you see the nation of Israel in its infancy and the promise given to it.  There are plenty of begats to get through early on which you can scan quickly if you wish.  Once you begin, the book pulls you along with lots to learn.

So there you have a couple of ideas to get started.  Avoid eReaders if you are unfamiliar with the Bible’s layout.  Use a paper book before you start keying in a reference and have the text pop up on a screen.  It’s a lot like GPS.  It gets us there, but without a map it’s hard to know just where you are.  Read as much or a little as you feel comfortable. You’ll find natural stopping places as you read. Get a nice Bible that you would be proud to own.  As the English Standard Version is used throughout our church, I recommend it. 

In Sunday morning Bible study immediately following coffee (‘til noon) we are wrapping up a verse-by-verse of  the book of Mark.  Bibles are supplied or bring your own for our time around the table with plenty of coffee still in the pot. Class is low-key and casual with lots of good conversation.

Regular reading builds our faith and helps keep us sensitive to the things of God.  Please take a moment and look at two verses Paul wrote to Timothy, his assistant. They are 2nd Timothy 3:16-17.

So there you have it,  a couple of good places to start on a path to regular Bible reading.  I’d love to hear from anyone who found this to be helpful!   Email me.

PRAYER THOUGHT AND MEDITATION

Revelation 14 is the history of the world in 13 verses.  The first 5 are a picture of the 144,000 with the lamb.  The 144K are the elect of God, chosen before time.  Chosen in the mystery of God. Picking up in verse 14 is a picture of the end of the world, “the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.”  This old earth has an end, also at the command of God.  But sandwiched between are the messages of three angels, and specifically the message we read every Reformation Day.  “An angel flying overhead with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation, tribe, language and people.”  The Word of the Lord endures forever.  And this word of Christ is for all peoples.  God continues, during the entire reign of this old earth, to proclaim his good news. To those with ears to hear, “Fear God and give him glory…worship him who made heaven and earth.”  May we by Reformation and renewal, by grace in faith, grab hold of this angel’s message.

BIBLE STUDIES

  • Thurs 10am: We are going to be reading the last letter of John starting this week.  Come Join!
  • Confirmation: Work on memorizing the commandments and read the 6th commandment questions.
  • Life Application Fellowship (LAF):  Will pick up on November 4th.
  • Sunday Morning: From Mark, the death and burial of Jesus.  Come Join!
  • Catechism Moment: I’m going to call this a bit of a hibernation.  It will comeback, but it was the last thing added, so the first thing to go when new tasks are given.