Pastor’s Corner – January 2021

It’s the new year – at last! The past season of Advent and waiting seemed like a good image for the whole of the year 2020. Waiting. Waiting for the crazy and stress to end. Yet in spite of the crazy and stress of 2020, there were great things that happened. God was on the move. 

First Thessalonians 5:19 says, “do not quench the spirit.” That means don’t extinguish the Holy Spirit, don’t try to squelch what God is doing. So many things in the year 2020 seemed as though they tried to extinguish the Spirit, but the spirit of God was not extinguished, blown out, or quenched. God was at work. One example – of many – was that our worship continued. We took worship online and later, both online and in person. 

2021, I pray, will be a great year. I believe already that it will a great year. Our congregation will celebrate 100 years of worshipping and serving during 2021. Our stories will be told and His story will be told that our neighbors and our community may know Christ. 

In this start of our 100th year, it’s only fitting to learn more of God’s story. God’s story in the Scriptures guides our lives, teaches us, renews us, and draws us closer to Him. To equip us, this month we’ll begin the “E100 Challenge.” The E100 is a list of 100 essential Bible lessons from creation to Revelation that we’ll join together in enjoying. The E100 idea was designed by Scripture Union. The E100 is designed to be a personal challenge and a community challenge. You can enjoy it daily for a span of 100 days or over six months, a year, or over some other timeframe. This is great for seasoned Bible readers as well as those who keep thinking, “I really need to get in the habit of reading my Bible.” 

“As you take the E100® Challenge, remember that your goal is not just to make it through the world’s greatest book, or to gain more Bible knowledge, or to become more spiritually disciplined. Those things are very important, but your higher goal is to get to know the Bible’s author, God himself. The reason God gave us the Bible is that he wants us to know who he is. It really is true: if you want to know God, read his Book” (Scripture Union). 

There are three ways to participate in the 100 on our 100th. Mix and match the ways as you have need or as you desire: 

  1. You can use the enclosed list to read from your Bible and track your progress. 
  2. You can go to our E100 web page (located under Worship/Study), click on the Read link for the day, and read from your computer or mobile device. 
  3. Or, using your computer or mobile device, there is a third way to participate. Using the website, you can click on the Listen link and be directed to Bible Gateway to use a play button and have the verses read to you. For readings that enter a new chapter, you will need to use their pull-down (circled) to select the next chapter. 

We enter a new year, full of promise. We enter our 100th year as the community of Saint Paul. And we enter into the essential 100 Bible lessons. In this new year, in our 100th, it is my prayer that we continue to fan the flame of faith in one another (2 Timothy 1:6) and in our neighborhood. 

Soli Deo Gloria,

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