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March 2014

posted Dec 18, 2014, 3:12 PM by Henry McTague

Dearest Friends in Christ,

The most sacred text in Christianity is the Bible, as it is the primary source of our knowledge of the teachings and ministry of Jesus Christ.  Further, it is the story of the Jewish community and the rich traditions of Judaism in which Jesus was raised.  Passages from both the Old and New Testaments form the basis for much of worship, from prayers to music to sermon, and we often turn to the pages of the Bible in times of loss, conflict, or despair to find words of comfort and hope.

In the United Church of Christ, there is no central doctrine with regard to the words of Scripture.  So within the denomination, there are folks who read the pages of the Bible as being literally true, and there are others who read less literally.  This tends to create some interesting tensions within the life of each church, and can lead to stimulating conversation and debate.  My observation about reading literally is that it should apply to the Bible as a whole, not just a few passages used to justify a particular position.  So perhaps the authority that we ascribe to Scripture should be used with both caution and wisdom.

For most of us who choose to follow the way of Jesus, the Bible is the Holy Word of God, recorded by men for the benefit of humankind.  It has words of wisdom, counsel, guidance, and hope.  It shows us a way to live, not only in relationship with God, but also with one another in community.  It provides a solid foundation upon which to build lives of meaning and purpose.  Further, it is a story of God’s relationship with a particular people, and the unique miracle of God’s Son, sent to dwell on earth and reveal a bit of God to all of God’s people.  It is a good book and the Good Book, which invites and inspires us to grow into the potential that God has implanted in each of us.  Therefore, the Bible is a source of blessing and grace.

The weeks of Lent are upon us, and Lent is the perfect time to sit down with a devotional and peruse the pages of Scripture.  As we travel with Jesus toward Jerusalem over the next weeks, may these sacred words open our hearts and minds to the incredible gift that God gave to us in the life and ministry of Jesus, and may our response be one of gratitude and love.

Blessings,

Pastor Gail 

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