This coming week I am wrapping up my Summer Study, which has been meeting on Wednesday mornings in the parlor. Our focus has been on how to study the different genre of scripture, using the book How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth as a guide. It has been a very rewarding study.
What has been absolutely clear to all who attend the study is that we never stop having questions about the scriptures. There is always something to learn, some way to grow, some mystery of faith we need explained. It’s obvious none of us ever really masters the totality of biblical knowledge.
This coming week also marks our annual Vacation Bible School. VBS is an annual outreach focused on teaching children the good news that God loves them. Using scripture as the foundation, children learn, play, create and sing in a loving environment. Sometimes people question the value of VBS – the church does not usually show significant growth following this outreach, and it requires a mammoth effort to accomplish. This year’s program requires two dozen volunteers!
Both the close of Summer Study and the advent of VBS remind me that God’s Word is central to everything we do. We must take care to always learn what we can about it, and to never ignore it, and we must find time to study it. We must always – ALWAYS, look for ways to share the message of God’s Word. And this is why we study, and why dozens of us will gather for five nights this week and do all kinds of crazy activities. This may be the only time these young people hear the good news and are surrounded by people who love them.
I am reminded of the words from Hebrews 12:1-2, for it applies both to our yearning for greater intimacy with God, and to our desire to share the good news:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.