Monday, September 8, 2014

Words from Jude

This morning I read a whole book of the Bible. I say that not to brag but to get your attention. As I did my devotions, I read from both Exodus and Jude, two interesting books that don't get a lot of attention - Exodus because after the people of Israel leave Egypt and enter the wilderness, they receive the directions for construction of the Tabernacle which is less than exciting for most people and Jude because it just is a short book with little real reason to read it. I would argue both thoughts miss the point but that might be for another blog and another time.

As I read Jude, I was amazed by how he brings so many different events into his writing. There is the Exodus followed by the angels that did not want to remain with God in their proper place and were put in eternal chains. He mentions Sodom and Gomorrah and their sexual deviation that caused their destruction. As he talks about the temptations of life and the struggles of Christians, he rolls through people and events without even batting an eye. The events just flow from his pen.

Without getting into the historical discussion of each, I must say that what I learned from him (among other things) is the importance of knowing your history. He seems to know about all the different events that he writes and even seems to assumes that his readers know these events, that they are not new or foreign to them. They are part of his life and he assumes are part of the lives of his readers.

And I thought, can we make that assumption today? If I preach a sermon with all sort of references to people and events from the Bible, be it Old or New Testament, will the hearers know what I am talking about? Moses' children spent time with their grandfather. Jethro gave Moses some great advice that Moses accepted. Amazing stuff. Did you know it? When I teach confirmation class, I need to not only teach the catechism but must teach the basics of the Word as well. Many of the young people who come into 7/8 grade confirmation class, need to learn not just the doctrine of the Lutheran church but also the stories of the Church.

We need to return to teaching the Word. Over and over again we need to teach the stories of the Word so that we will know them, cherish them and share them. It is so important for us to know the Word. We can't live a Word that we don't know.

Just thinking this morning. As I read these two books, I came to realize that I, as a pastor, need to make sure that I teach the Word over and over again. I should not assume that people know the Word. Yes, there are some that know it much better than me. I do not claim to be uber knowledgeable but I continue to read and study the Word.

Final thought - return to the Word. Each day, read it. Make it a part of your day and your life. Musings finished for the day.

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