What’s it like being a watchman, you’re wondering? Well, it’s not a glorious life, being a watchman, I can tell you that much. In fact, most days, I don’t think there’s a more boring job.
Every one of us his forgiveness, his peace, his hope, his presence for that day! Today, God promises his forgiveness, peace, hop“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
Today, all around the world, Christians are lighting the third of four Advent candles. And although we don’t see it here, in many Advent wreaths, that candle stands out. It’s the perfect example of that classic Sesame Street jingle: “One of these things is not like the other.”
Every year I hold out the empty hope that winter will not come. Every year I dream that somehow fall will go straight into spring. But every year, I’m disappointed. It’s the first real snowfall that always kills that dream.
Waiting this time of year is hard, isn’t it? There’s so much anticipation for the parties and the presents and all the things that go with Christmas time, it’s so hard to wait. But you know what’s about the only thing that can make waiting even harder?
Teach us from his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” Like people rushing to the stores this past Friday to get those once-in-a-lifetime deals, so people from around the world rush to this mountain to hear the good news of forgiveness.
Are you able to read the Bible every single day in your home without any help, accountability, guidance, or examples?
If so, you are weird and this page isn’t for you (no offense…).
The vast majority of Christians need help in making the Bible a regular habit in their homes. That’s what this page is for. We believe most Christians need to take a few simple “steps” to go from “Sunday-only” Bible readers to daily devotion Christians. While not everyone will need every step on this path, we believe these are the key components to creating a strong home-devotional life.
Step 1: Come to church regularly.
Although church attendance doesn’t miraculously create home devotions, it does remind us of the power of the Word. At church, we hear of Jesus’ love, his forgiveness, and his plan for our lives. The Holy Spirit works in our hearts through the Word and Sacraments and are desire to draw near to God is increased.
In addition, church gives us resources, reminders, encouragements, and prayers and ensures that the Bible doesn’t slip down our list of priorities in our busy lives. During 2013, Eastside’s worship services will be filled with not only the Word, but also prayers for home devotions, offers of free resources, and inspiring examples of the Word at work in Christian homes.
Step 2: Get some resources.
Where do I start reading the Bible? How many verses or chapters should I read each day? What is the book of Romans about? What does this verse even mean? What if I’m into technology and not old-fashioned books?
That’s where the second step of the path comes in. At Eastside, we are creating “resource centers” in our church and school lobbies where you can find the right resources to help you get the most out of your home devotions. Bibles? We’re giving them away. Devotional plans? Those are free, too. Kids’ Bibles? Ditto. Recommended apps? We’re sharing our recommendations. Study Bibles? We’ll show you the best ones (in our humble opinion) to buy and where to purchase them.
Simply put, we want you to have a Bible, a plan to read it, and resources to understand it.
Step 3: Get in a group.
If you’ve ever tried working out or eating healthier meals, you know the power of the people around you. Hang out with junk-food lovers and you can kiss your weight-loss plans good-bye. But hang-out with fitness buffs and you’ll find lots of inspiring “figures”, quality advice, and encouraging words.
Home devotions aren’t too different. Like any change of habit, most of us need encouragement, advice, good examples, and prayers to make the intention of Bible reading a reality.
Therefore, we recommend taking the step to get into an “intentional group”. An intentional group is our fancy name for a group of people, whatever the size, who “intentionally” ask about your home devotions. Their goal is not to guilt you into reading, but instead share their experiences, obstacles, encouragements, success stories, and prayers. Our hope is that they will remind you of the blessings of being in God’s Word and the powerful things the Holy Spirit does in the lives of these who meditate on God’s truth “day and night” (Psalm 1).
Our small group Bible studies are a prime example. Three times each year, you have the opportunity to get connected and increase your likelihood of being in the Word at home.
Step 4: Embrace the Vision.
This is the final step! Now that you are hearing the Word in church, receiving the Sacrament in all its forgiving-power, resourced with a Bible and a plan, and surrounded by Christian encouragement, prayer, and example, you’re ready to take the final step and get into the Word at home. While you may have started doing this earlier down the path, this is the time to make it a daily habit.
Will you be perfect? No, but that’s not the point. The more you can get into the Word, the more you will be blessed by the truth of the gospel and the guidance of God’s law. Each day will be filled with divine direction, unconditional love, and strength for your suffering. Soon, you will be the example that new Bible readers look to, the example that inspires them to get into the Word at home for the very first time.
So, are you ready to take the first step? Or the second? Or the third? Or the fourth?
We pray that this simple path and the ministry of Eastside Lutheran blesses your home today and for generations to come!
A new session of small group Bible study is starting up on August 21st. The topic will be going over the book “The Case for Faith” by Lee Strobel, and will meet twice a month in Waunakee on Sunday evenings for about 60 – 90 minutes. It’s very casual, and a good opportunity to meet some of your fellow Christian brothers and sisters. Please contact the church office if you have any questions or would like to join.
Kids are welcome, and babysitting will be available!
TOPICAL BIBLE STUDY FOR GRADES 5-8- All children of grades 5-8 in our school and congregation are invited to join a topical bible study led by Deaconess Anne Heller. This youth bible study will begin on September 11th at 9:15 am in room 122. We look forward to seeing you and to study God’s word together.
During the turmoil in the years that immediately followed the posting of his 95 theses, Dr. Martin Luther wrote one of the most significant documents in the history of the Christian church entitled The Freedom of the Christian. After his Small Catechism, it is considered by many to be his greatest work. He sent it as an attachment to a letter to Pope Leo X. Whether the pope personally ever read it is unknown, but it certainly would have shocked him if he had. It completely trashed the Roman Catholic system of work righteousness.
That most Lutherans are unfamiliar with this document is a tragedy for the church because the document clearly explains how Christians should live their lives as a result of their faith in Christ’s redemption. To give its members a chance to study this treasure of the Lutheran church, Eastside will present a 4-week class on The Freedom of the Christian as part of the preparation for the 500th celebration of the Reformation. The classes will be taught by Dr. Arthur Eggert on Sunday evenings beginning September 11 and will be held from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.
A copy of The Freedom of the Christian will serve as the textbook for the course and be available to those taking the course prior to the first session. Further handouts for studying the material will be available at each session.
Sunday, September 11th
Sunday, September 18th
Sunday, September 25th
Sunday, October 2nd
Eastside Evangelical Lutheran Church and School
2310 Independence Lane
Madison, WI 53704