Categories: Pastor's Blog

Out with the old? Not in this case!

We’re still early enough in 2019 that many of us are thinking about what we want to keep doing and hanging on to from 2018, and what we want to leave behind when it comes to our habits and our stuff. One of our initiatives here at Redeemer is to update our interior space, to be more useful and visitor-friendly. This of course includes hoeing through various storage areas to see what can and ought to be released. Some of those decisions are pretty simple (for example, some dusty VHS tapes that probably haven’t been used in 15+ years).

One thing we don’t want to leave behind is our commitment to follow Jesus, and to grow in our faith and in our understanding and practice of what it means to be a Christian. We want to more deeply understand and lean into our call as individuals and as a congregation. Understandably, we most often turn to the pages of the Gospels for guidance, for it is there we see the life of Jesus beautifully illustrated, as well as to the New Testament letters, where the theology and practice of the earliest Christian communities is fleshed out.

Sometimes as Christians, though, our quest to know and to follow Jesus keeps us anchored in the New Testament to the extent that we pay scant attention to about 75% of Scripture: that big chunk from Genesis to Malachi that we call the Old Testament. As Covenanters, we affirm the Bible—both Old and New Testaments—to be the Word of God and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct. We are also reminded of where the Apostle Paul writes that “all Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). This underscores the importance of not forgetting or undervaluing the wealth of Scripture found in the 39 books of the Old Testament, the very Scripture that Jesus taught from and of which his disciples would have grown up memorizing large portions.

During the month of February, we’ll be diving into the world and texts of the Old Testament as a congregation during our Sunday morning services. Together, we’ll examine the range of literary genres found there (history, poetry, prophecy and others), exploring the similarities and differences in how we approach each type of book and writing. We’ll choose a main, representative text to focus on each week (at times touching on others as well), with an emphasis on discovering connection points to our lives and faith today. We’ll also come face to face with the fact that Jesus didn’t just suddenly appear out of a vacuum in the pages of the New Testament, and that in fact we find him prominently (if sometimes mysteriously) foreshadowed and prefigured in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Please plan to join us for this four-week series, and please join us as we continue to seek to live out the whole truth of God’s Word in 2019 and beyond. Covenanters have long asked one another, “Where is it written?” in matters of doctrine, faith and life choices. David writes, “Your Word is a light for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105). Let’s together deepen our commitment to know, to love and to obey God’s Word in its entirety as it illuminates our path.

Pastor Ben