The Whole Story: In Introduction
One of the great gifts of Martin Luther’s work and the Reformation, to which his writings and teachings led, was that the Bible was translated into the language of the people so that ordinary people, not just scholars and priests, could read the Bible. Why? Because the Bible is for us! John 20:31, declaring why the Gospel was written down, says, “But these are writes so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.”
So, at WestSide, we are embarking on a year-long project of reading the Bible. The readings for the year are laid out in four daily readings, one each from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. Weekly readings from the Spark Children’s Bible are also suggested as a way to engage children in a year of engaging the great Bible stories, too. Incorporate these Bible stories into your bedtime story routine and see how quickly your kids become familiar with the Bible.
When you read the Bible, do so with expectation. Luther referred to the Bible as the “cradle that holds Christ.” In other words, scripture reveals Christ and God’s salvation work to us. So, read with the expectation that God is revealing something to you and working life and faith in you. Scripture’s job is to do something to us; Isaiah 55 declares that God’s Word will not return empty and that it gives us life. We read trusting this promise.
In the Lutheran tradition, we read, also, with ears for Law and Gospel. Law tells us what to do; it commands us. Law also convicts us of our sin and points us to Christ, for we fail to live up to the law. Gospel tells us what God has done for us in Christ. It is promise and requires nothing of you; it is pure gift. We listen for both Law and Gospel when we read.
So, happy reading! There is a Whole Story to know, so we are digging in together, trusting that, as we do so, God will nourish and give life.