Preparing for Worship: Treasuring God's Word

Preparing for Worship: Treasuring God's Word

John Haralson   •   November 18, 2016

"Christians feed on Scripture. Holy Scripture nurtures the Holy Community as food nurtures the human body. Christians do not simply learn or study or use Scripture; we assimilate it, take it into our lives in such a way that it gets metabolized into acts of love, cups of cold water, missions into all the world, healing and evangelism and justice in Jesus’ name, hands raised in adoration of the Father."
Eugene Peterson

Dear Friends,

I’m not an “us vs. them” Christian. Since the good news of the gospel has at its heart God’s love for sinners, it means that as a Christian, I cannot look down my nose at people who are not Christians. Also, because Jesus has been raised from the dead, it means my life is not to be controlled by fear of the world outside of the church.

At the same time, one of the things that has been weighing heavily upon my wife and I lately is the corrosive force that life in Seattle has on Christian faith. At every point, our faith, and our children’s faith, is tested and pushed back upon. In Seattle, this enormous toxic spiritual pressure is almost physically perceptible.

Earlier this week, I was doing my devotional reading in Daniel 1. The book begins with the story of Daniel (duh) and the challenges of walking faithfully to God while he was living in Babylon. In the Old Testament, the Babylonian Empire was utterly and thoroughly opposed to God. In other words, you couldn’t imagine a place more hostile to live out your faith.

Yet, God sustained Daniel and others in Babylon. They were able to faithfully navigate through a very challenging and demanding spiritual climate. In that moment, much of my anxiety lifted. Yes, Seattle is filled with real and substantial spiritual forces that seek to undermine Christian faith at every point. But, in Daniel 1, God reminded me through his word that he can sustain his people even in challenging cities like that. If God can preserve Daniel in Babylon, he can preserve us in Seattle.

Immersing myself in God’s word has had this kind of effect on me on countless occasions. It has oriented me, and re-oriented me to God’s goodness and faithfulness even amidst the difficulties of this life.

God’s word is a wonderful gift to us. We would be wise to treasure it and make a regular place for it in our lives.

This Sunday: Treasuring God’s Word, Luke 2:8-20

I hope to worship with you.

Liturgy is here.

John

PS Here is a really helpful article by Eugene Peterson on the goodness of God’s word.