Marilynn and I were looking through the Canadian Lutheran. She wanted me to read the article on "Rights". What I want to highlight, however, is what President Bugbee published on page 12.
I'll type it off quickly.
A message from President Robert Bugbee.
The holy writer sang, "In Your light we see light" (Psalm 36:9). It's a fancy way of saying that the Lord alone can show you what light really is. Only He can teach the difference between light and darkness, between crooked and straight, between abundant life and self-destruction. The psalmist also proclaims, "Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path" (119:105)
In His Word God not only gives information about His light. He brings it to where you are and plants it into your life! Then you see Him in His glory and you see yourself for what you are! Then you can have guidance--and the fuel--to move forward in a world that seems more bewildering by the day.
As we move toward the end of all things, our congregations and families will need men and women immersed in God's Word; people who will invest blocks of time in it. I call on all of you to revive and practice the discipline of substantial and daily Bible reading.
I ask all our pastors to invest solid, prayerful time in the Word so that it forms the backbone and the depth of your preaching and teaching.
We also need to help our congregations become more and more nurturing places. Enter into other people's lives. Take an interest in them. Listen to them. It's one of the fruits that can grow when we are immersed in God's Holy Word. He starts shaping in us the mind of Christ. Then we begin functioning like a body. We become more of a family all the time...
He is making four points: God's Word is the light we need. Families need to make time for Bible reading. Pastors need to invest in Bible study. We need to become more like family.
Over the weekend, I've been thinking a little bit about what it means to really glean things from Bible study and what it means to be confessional. These things are not in opposition. But I think in general we have become quite lazy about both. It is really disgraceful, when we think about it. We are drowning in inane entertainment and have no time left over for study.
Martin and I have been thrown into Bible reading. Since Stefan's death we have had not much appetite for movies, TV, newspapers. We are getting back to some of that. Not much. We've given up the 10:00 pm news. It's really enough to read the newspaper, spend time on the internet; we don't need it all rehashed one more time. Usually, the stories are not the ones we are interested in, anyways. So after 10:00 we generally have our readings. Readers of this blog know that it is the Treasury of Daily Prayer, that we've been using. I squeeze in Bror's Giertz devotional, here and there. It is all excellent reading. There are so many old and new resources available. The Treasury also tries to get you to read the Confessions, by giving suggested readings along with the excerpts in the "Writings" section. The new book of Lutheran Confessions from CPH is also very beautiful, readable and reasonably priced. Get one. (I have got a few, if that's easier.)
I wonder, too, if many pastors could do better with their own scripture study. For example, I wonder if there are any Canadian Lutheran pastor's blogs or webpages, that deal with scripture, theology, or liturgy... I have not come across any, nor searched. Maybe somebody knows of them. Please, let me know. I would be very curious.
The last admonition has to do with becoming family. Well, many of us are like family and it is a tremendously beautiful thing to be very grateful for. Yet, when I first joined LCMS (at the time), from an independent Lutheran congregation in Edmonton, one of my first impressions was: "These people are not each other's friends." Maybe, that was just a misconception. But I don't think that was entirely it. I think we can be more friend-ly. Think very hard about how you can include other people in your plans, in your meals, in your leisure, hey, maybe--even your devotions! Our children, growing up in this moral morass of a culture, especially need our families to be friends to each other.
(Thank you, Rev. Bugbee!)