I meant to do this earlier. I don’t know why I didn’t, but I didn’t.
My church, Zion Lutheran in Tomball, is having a series of studies on angels this December. It is interesting. These Servants of God are far more interesting than what gets portrayed on the Hallmark greeting cards. They certainly are NOT cute little Renaissance babies with wings. Whenever they show up, their first words are usually, “Fear Not!”
This series is almost finished, there is only one more next Sunday. I thought you might like to see the videos of the classes. They were saved as “LIVE” programs on Facebook so the homebound could least feel like they are participating.
With permission, I am linking to the first 3 classes here:
I pondered that for quite a while. There are quite a few things that I enjoy and appreciate. “Falling into” a great story, whether I am reading, writing, or watching it brings me great delight. Spending time with people I cherish is like oxygen to me. Learning and/or teaching is an intense pleasure. Circumstances, people, things are just stuff. And yet, none of those things can MAKE me happy. They may reveal a happiness or contentment (or lack thereof), but they can never place happiness within me.
Only God Himself can make me happy. As He rebuilds me from the inside out, preparing me for eternity, He places a peace beyond all understanding within me. He builds contentment and joy into my person.
The tools He uses are surprisingly simple. It starts and ends with His Word. Whether I like it or not, I need to let the Holy Spirit work through Scripture. Both Law and Gospel have to have their constant place in my life: God’s Holy Law has to tear down my pride and self-sufficient attitude and God’s Holy Gospel is to build Christ Himself within me.
That can’t happen quickly or easily. There’s a reason we are to gather together around preaching and the sacraments regularly. Having the pastor place forgiveness in our ears and on our tongues is a start. Unfortunately, we also have the attention spans of squirrels on crack. We can’t go 3 minutes within the service without getting distracted. That’s why daily, family and individual Bible study and devotions are important. We need to have the weekly church service lessons reinforced at any given moment.
We never know when life will place a “pop quiz” in front of us. God’s Word makes us joyfully free to live forgiven lives while forgiving others around us.
I guess I will never be able to claim that I am a Luddite. I took a selfie on the way to church and in Bible class.
I look so ridiculously stern in the one on the left, but I was trying to figure out how to make my phone work. I always look like that when I use the phone. And no, I do not talk on the phone. I will text and I will take pictures, I will not talk. And no, you can’t have my number.
Here’s what we covered this Sunday in 1 Corinthians. Yes, we really and truly are in chapter 2! We finished verse two and started on verse three. We are galloping along at a breakneck speed, aren’t we?
This weekend, we also celebrated the 90th birthday of She-who-does-not-like-her-name-on-the-Internet. It was nice. I think everybody had a good time. We are all tired. I will dedicate a complete post to her celebration a little bit later.
Bible study was excellent, again. I just don’t remember as much as I want to. We also celebrated Mother’s birthday. Apparently, not as months moved from my mental long-term storage into short-term storage as sometimes happens.
Yes, I have missed updating this for a couple of weeks. I guess you’ll just have to show up to class yourself. You can jump right in, we move slowly! http://ziontomballtx.org/
1 Corinthians 1:30 (ESV)
And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,
I don’t remember whether we discussed this note:
Paul traces from God (1) revelation given in His Word, (2) the acquittal won by His Son, (3) the holiness that follows for us, and (4) full salvation from sin and death. “This happens because of the righteousness of another, namely, of Christ” (Ap V 184).
–Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1948.
We did, however, spend some time trying to figure out whether the Greek phrase at the top of the board meant:
It’s true, we do take our time in studying God’s Word. It’s a treasure. It’s a delight. It’s a joy, well worth our time. We can snicker at ourselves when others tease us, saying things like, “By the time you finish going through I Corinthians, you’ve also read the entire rest of the Bible in that Sunday school class!”
Here’s what we did today:
A Quick Review of Where We’ve Been over the Last Few Weeks? Months?
1 Corinthians 1:20–25 (RSV)
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
A book I’m reading, “Gnostic America” by Peter Burfeind, underscores how similar 1st-century Corinth and 21st-century United States really are. I can’t say that I’m enjoying the book, but I’m glad I’m reading it. How can you NOT get something out of a book when the website for the book uses phrases like “Medieval-Gnostic perversion of Christian theology”?
1 Corinthians 1:26 (RSV)
26 For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth;