Binge Reading the Bible: Epistles
Seven Sundays this summer, from July 7-August 25, 2019, we’ll follow a worship series called, Binge Reading the Bible.
This series takes its cues from our social obsession with binge-watching shows on Netflix and instead focuses on reading large chunks of the Bible all at once.
As we move into the New Testament in our Binge Reading the Bible series, we are on more familiar ground. I know all of us like to get a card or a letter. It is so unusual! There was undoubtedly great excitement in the early church when a letter arrived from Paul or one of the other leaders of the emerging Christian movement. These letters or “epistles” as they are more formally called, talk about problems as well as the new faith that was being formed through the church. Apparently conflict was a large issue for the church to address. So little has changed over the centuries! Yet conflict becomes an important place where God works and where our faith can mature. We’ll talk a bit this Sunday about Paul, who wrote the earliest material we have in the New Testament. He actually gets us the closest to Jesus, since his letters were written even before the first Gospel (Mark) was penned. Paul who had his life turned around by Jesus, shows us how to live faithfully even in the toughest of times. Paul faced regular persecution for his beliefs. As a missionary, his travel conditions and work were rigorous and demanding physically as well as emotionally. As a pastor, he worried about his churches and his people. Yet through all of this he shows us what a difference it makes when we follow the way of Jesus. He would close his letter to the new Christians in Rome, saying, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Sunday we worship together in our rich tradition of faith, as we learn from those who came before but relying fully on God whose presence gives us wisdom, strength and leads us into the future.
You’re encouraged to follow the 48-day Bible reading plan. Start today; it’s not too late!
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