Last Wednesday, our confirmation students wrapped up their year-long study of God’s Word. Many of them, by their own admission, said they learned how to hear the law and gospel in the Biblical text; to interpret the stories so they connected the Bible to their real lives. It was an extraordinary year and I think it is safe to say it was enjoyable for everyone. But now that it’s over, are they Bible experts? Is it safe for them to put the Bible on their shelf and leave it there to collect dust? As Saint Paul would say, “By no means!”
The Bible is useful for knowing God’s commandments. The Bible transports you into another world where you hear his ongoing relationship of mercy, and dare to believe that he could do this for you too. The Bible is living and continues to speak to you with a lasting Word that kills and makes alive. In the end, however, the Bible does not save you. The Bible is only the vehicle, like the water of Holy Baptism or the bread and wine of Holy Communion, which brings Christ to you, so he can bestow his gracious promises upon you. I pray that our ministry together continues to test, encourage, challenge, and inspire you. But more importantly, centered on the Word of God, I trust that Christ will continue to come and encounter us, strengthening our faith and fulfilling our hope in the Living God.
May the Word Bless Your Week –
To prepare for worship on Sunday
(May 20), you are invited to read: