Ok, since I'm keeping the blog open for a while more with hospital updates (tough day so far btw), I might as well write what I am thinking about with regard to matters theological and ecclesiastical. I want to ask the readers whether they are engaged in a systematic study of Scripture, whether as part of a class, study group, or even personally. If not, and unless your schedule simply doesn't permit it, I want you to change that reality immediately. The primary setting by which the ordinary means of grace are communicated to us is the Divine Service. It is essential. Nevertheless, while it is the primary setting it is not the exclusive setting for the reception of the sustaining and sanctifying grace that grows us in the knowledge of God. Personal prayer, family worship, Bible studies, fellowship groups of all sorts, and other activities can be wonderful vessels of mercy. True, such are not a substitute for the gathered worship of the Christian Church, nor are they the proper setting for the reception of the sacraments. Yet these opportunities are gifts to us from the Father that can, if we attend to them diligently, increase in us our grasp of Scripture and the grip of Scripture's truth on our lives.
There are many such groups meeting at or through Redeemer, and of course many opportunities beyond this congregation exist as well.
Are you making the effort to join with others to study the Bible and pray together for one another? What about serving together?
The Liturgy is full of riches, but more treasures await those who not only ponder deeply the meaning and message of the Divine Service but take up daily and weekly those other gifts of prayer and community that will enrich and adorn our faith.
More information on Bible Studies and prayer groups is available at the Church Office and ask Jack Smith about School of Discipleship classes.
And hey, why not start a group? That's what my good friend Chris Olari did, and its going great. I'd start one at Central Market: eat and drink, let the kiddos play, and then pray.