Friday Followings: Grace-Filled Messages All Around Us

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
How’s your spring going? I know the wet weather has caused cancellations for soccer games and baseball games, but hopefully we’re in for a good stretch of sunshine and celebrations around graduations and summer vacations.
 
I’m looking forward to spending some time in California at an upcoming conference where we’ll learn from a man whose blogs I’ve read, but have never met. Pastor Adam Hamilton is his name. I’m looking forward to the summertime change of pace and change of schedule. I’m looking forward to maybe a few days later this summer with family and friends in Arizona or California. Plans aren’t fully made yet. I’m looking forward to seeing if my golf game still has any glisten left in it.
 
Yet, no matter where I might go or what I might be doing, as a preacher and pastor, I’ve noticed more and more over the years that I am constantly watching for biblical and faith-filled themes as I read, watch movies, take a hike, play a round of golf, hear people’s stories, etc…  I’d like to encourage you to keep your eyes and ears open and do the same. This is a good habit for all Christians to be in.
 
Of course, for all of us, this begins with regular quiet time and bible reading, so as to get to know Scripture and, more importantly, the Savior to whom Scripture points. It is essential for us to nurture a life of study and reflection. One of the old saints, St. Jerome, advises us, “When your head droops at night, let a page of Scripture pillow it.”
 
A long time ago Aristotle noted that friendship takes time, hours of conversation, sitting quietly with the friend, observing the friend in a variety of contexts. For you and me as Christians, getting to know the Bible as a friend is a fascinating, life-giving, journey, as we let God be God, allowing the Bible to speak on its terms rather than ours. Jesus is revealed as Lord, Savior, and friend for us.
 
As we do this, we see more and more the themes and messages of faith, grace, law, gospel, and most of all, the love of God, playout in a myriad of ways. This spring and summer, and throughout your life, no matter where you go or what you do, open yourself in your reading, movie watching, working, playing, family time, storytelling and hearing, to the messages of God. See with eyes of faith and notice the grace-filled, God-centered messages all around you.
 
Our theme during these weeks in preaching is that Jesus is risen and he still shows up today. During the summer, of course, continue to worship weekly wherever you are as God’s Word comes to life in its proclamation and in its hearing. This week we continue our series on the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. Please read John 20:19-23.
 
Pastor Tim