Skip to main content

Life in Greencastle - A People of The Book

If you were to travel into one of the many schools that are now back in session, what would you find? The teachers, of course: refreshed and still overwhelmed by not just the new schedules and new faces but also the always-there weight of knowing they are not just teaching; they are guiding a life further down the road. And you would find the children: wonder-filled and excitable and bored and stressed and peer-pressured and always in formation.

But, you would also find something else. Amidst all the classrooms and corridors, somewhere in those schools you would find textbooks, and you would find curriculum. Tucked away in student's backpacks, in their lockers, and on their teacher's desks, you would find these resources. You will discover sources to give guidance, to help these young lives be shaped as future biologists, writers, administrators or physical therapists.

What, then, is our textbook? Where do we go to learn what we need to learn in order to mature into the person God longs for us to be?

Overwhelming, time and again, ancestors and elders in our Christian faith tell us clearly: our textbook is the Bible. For in those pages we have been given all that is needed to know ... about God ... about why God created us ... about how God relates to us ... about sin and separation ... and - ultimately - how God plans to redeem not just us but all of creation.

Every Sunday, we gather to be guided by God's Word to us. We gather not to stand critically over Scripture but under the authority and good guidance of Scripture.

But, this Sunday we are going to mark a significant event in our community's life. For this Sunday we are going to take God's Word - the very Word entrusted to us - and we are going to pass it onto six of our children: Sarah Lorimer, Jacob Lorimer, David Lorimer, Tiffany Smith, Zach Wilkerson and Parker Black. These six children have come to the age where we can say to them, "you are growing up, and it is important that you have a Word to guide you." And in love and faithfulness, we will pass that Word to them.

But, let's not forget. This is not just about giving a gift to six of our children. What we also do this Sunday is remember together that each of us is invited to learn the ways of Jesus Christ. We are all students in a classroom.

What is more, let us ask ourselves this: what good is a book if it is not opened, and how will our children learn about their faith if they are not taught? Yes, let us take time to say thank you to those in our midst who are teaching our children: Mary Jane Jones, Betsy Demmings and now Molly Carrillo. Let us remember Anna Harmless who has been teaching our infants about God's love as she sits with them. Let us remember others like Corky Crimmins and Lisa Cooper who step away from worship to check on a baby. And let us remember that we too are not free from this responsibility. We are all part of this community and God invites all of us to teach, to pass on our faith.

Through learning and teaching, through trial and celebration, through questions, examinations and success, may we be a people of the Book.

Wes

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Acts 3:11-21 - Questions for Reflection & Prayer

This week we continued looking at the story of Peter and John healing a lame man on their way to the Temple (Acts 3).  Indwelled with the Spirit of the Living God, Peter and John are close to the source of all life:  Jesus the Christ.  They are continuing to devote themselves to the habits and practices that will allow the fruits of the Spirit to grow within them, including devoting themselves to times of communal prayer on a daily basis.

Now, the crowds hear this news of the lame man's healing, and they run to see this man and to discover what power or technique has healed the man.  They discover the man standing next to Peter and John and assume that these two are "holy men," something many people were searching for in Jesus' day.  This same search still goes on today.  One way we seek a better life is to seek out celebrities, gurus and human leaders that we can put our faith and hope in.

Question for reflection:  How are we tempted in our culture to put our trust i…

Acts 2:42-47 - Questions for Reflection & Study

This past Sunday, we took a look at Luke's first summary passage in the story of Acts:  chapter 2, verses 42-47.  Here, Luke is presenting a billboard of what the Church looks like at its best.  He is trying to convince Theophilus that Christianity is worth his attention. 

The early Church captures what all of us are looking for, whether we know it or not.  This is a close community that truly cares for one another, where everyone truly is seen as a brother and sister, and where no one person is considered more or less important as the other.  Needs are being met.  There is joy in their fellowship. 

Take a moment to think about a time in your life when you experienced the joy and blessing of a deep, loving community?  Where was it, and what made this community so different?  What role did you play in this community?
Luke tells us the disciples "devoted themselves" to four essential practices.  The Greek word for "devoted" is one that is often used in the context…

Acts 5:1-11 - Questions for reflection & prayer

This past Sunday we looked at one of the more unsettling stories in the Book of Acts:  the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira.  As shared by Luke, this couple sold a piece of land and then proceeded to bring only a portion of the profit to the apostles - laying it at their feet for the good of the community.  However, what appeared to be their grave mistake (pun intended) was their collusion in claiming to have brought all the proceeds to the apostles when - in fact - they were keeping some back for themselves.  Peter announces first to Ananias the Lord's judgment, followed by a similar verdict being handed down to Sapphira a short time later.

Seen by itself, this is a strange story, but it begins to make more sense when we see it as "part of the whole."  The story of Ananias and Sapphira comes right after we hear once again of the community's unity and generosity, including their willingness to share their own goods and resources to take care of one another (ch. 4).  Th…