I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which Jesus has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. - Ephesians 1: 18-19a
Happy New Year! I hope the holidays left you well and in good spirits. And with the new year, I would like to talk about a new look at the Bible. Many people make New Year’s Resolutions and I would like you to consider adding this to your resolution for 2020.
As we look at the above text from Ephesians, we have several pertinent topics to engage with “New Look at the Bible” resolution. Literally, the text asks God to give new vision, opening the eyes of the hearts of God’s people to the way God is moving in their lives. This concept of new, clearer vision of the heart actually works pretty well with the new year which is 2020. We, too, can ask God to move in our lives by giving us 2020 or in this case“20-20” vision from our primary literary source of God’s action and call in our lives, the Bible. Our holy scripture is a powerful and amazing group of texts spanning and chronicling thousands of years and is importantly a “living word.” The fact that it is a living work means that the Bible was relevant for the people it chronicles, their immediate descendants, and all the way down to those of us living today. The Bible is also very complicated and continues to hold mysteries for even the most learned biblical scholars. Because of its deeply complex and intensely meaningful nature, there are pitfalls for those who take on the Bible in a vacuum, without considering its context of the time and how the Bible transforms and lives differently for different people.
To help make some sense of, to begin to demystify, and attempt to gain a clearer vision of some of the Bible, I will be starting a new bible study at Faith Lutheran in the new year. You’ll notice that I included plenty of partial portion caveats in that previous sentence. That is because I want to be clear that I am not the end-all-be-all expert of Biblical knowledge. And if anyone knows someone, besides God, who would claim to be such an expert or knows where God left the instruction manual for the Bible, let me know because it would be very helpful! That said, I have a passion for journeying into God’s mysterious and miraculous text to help it truly come alive in different, hopefully inspiring, ways.
For those interested, please join us at the church on Thursday, January 23rd at 3:00 pm for the first installment of the new bible study. This study is intended to have both women and men attend and we will start in the Gospel of Mark. The intention is for the study to meet twice a month, on the 2nd and 4th Thursday morning of the month.
Whether you are able to join us in person or not, I would invite you to work towards this new vision of deepening your biblical knowledge. Whether you are across the street from the church or living in another state now, take a new look at the Bible with a new Bible devotional, a new biblical commentator, or even a new version/ translation of the Bible. And finally, whatever you choose to do, I highly encourage you to do it in community: read the Bible with a friend, with a significant other, or come on over to the church for the new bible study.
Many Thanks and Blessings,
Pastor John Barton
We gather for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30 am for a traditional service of worship, that includes a Liturgy of Praise, Hymns, Choir and the sharing of the Sacrament of Holy Communion. From September to May we have Sunday School available for all children ages 3-11. (5th Grade)
Following worship, we gather for a time of Fellowship, coffee and light breakfast foods.
Come and join in the Fellowship!
As always, please invite your neighbors, family members, and friends to join us. All are welcome!
Upcoming Events for December:
Janaury 12th - Baptism of Our Lord
and WELCA Installation of Officers
January 19th - 2nd Sunday after Epiphany
January 20th - Martin Luther King Holiday
January 26th - 3rd Sunday after Epiphany
Choir Practice is every Wednesday @ 3:30 pm.
Worship Service @ 9:30 am every Sunday
We love all of God's people, so feel free to visit during our open hours.
Come and Worship on
Sunday mornings at 9:30am.
Our Fellowship time follows at 10:30am
Pastor John Barton
28200 Portsmouth Dr, Menifee, CA 92586, US
08:30 am – 01:00 pm