Friday, September 2, 2011

A Journey Not to be Missed

Thanks to Hurricane Irene, our lectionary texts this week are the same as last week--we are still waiting to get started on our Exodus journey! Take a look back at last week's post for some introductory reflections on Exodus and to find the link to these great texts.

So this week, I want to use the blog space to tell you all about a way of reading the biblical story through the lens of Exodus that has changed how I approach the Bible--a way that you will be invited to walk along this fall as well. When in seminary, a professor introduced me to a book written and illustrated by Lutheran pastor Dan Erlander: Manna and Mercy: A Brief History of God's Unfolding Plan to Mend the Entire Universe. In 100 beautiful pages, Erlander moves us through the course of the entire biblical narrative, from the beginning of creation in Genesis to the new creation in Revelation, and traces the course of the human relationship with God as set in the gift of Manna to the Israelites in the desert (a story we'll encounter in worship this September) and continued in the birth, life, and death of Jesus and the living church Christ established (that would be us!).

Here's what I love about Erlander's account: it is simple enough that if you feel "biblically illiterate" and want a non-threatening way to get a feel for the course of this whole great story we live our lives by, Manna and Mercy is for you. It is deep enough that if you have read the Bible cover to cover hundreds of times and studied it in school and still want to read old stories with fresh eyes, Manna and Mercy is for you. And if you are anywhere in between these ends, swimming around wishing you had a way to encounter scripture that could help you figure out how what God has been doing through history weaves together and redirects our paths as God's people, then guess what...Manna and Mercy is for you.

SO, I hope you'll join us on Sunday nights at 6:30 starting next Sunday, September 11, when we'll look at the first biblical stories of God constituting a particular people to reflect God's character here on earth:

Then, on September 18, we will sweep through the story of the rest of the Old Testament: the story of how God's people fell out of covenant with God, and God's great plan to restore them:

On September 25, Jesus comes into the picture, and we see how he fits in with God's redemptive vision that God has been working towards all along:

Finally, on October 2 we will look at the ministry of the church--God's people on earth today--and God's vision for a heaven and earth made new, with all things brought together in Christ.

Come join us these four Sunday nights at 6:30 as we move through history together and let it shape our future as the people of God!

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