The Bible in 90 Days

July, 2009 Pastor’s Monthly Newsletter Article

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:10-11

One of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther comes from his days in Wittenberg. In a sermon on March 10, 1522, Luther said,

I simply taught, preached, and wrote God's Word; otherwise I did nothing. And while I slept, or drank Wittenberg beer with my friends Philip and Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that no prince or emperor ever inflicted such losses upon it. I did nothing; the Word did everything.

Luther's Works Volume 51 (Sermons); page 77

Luther had a strong belief in the power of God's Word. For Luther, this was not just a theoretical principle, but a matter of personal conviction and spiritual discipline. He turned to the Word every day. He immersed himself in the Word. He believed that the Word was his strength. He believed that the Word was what kept him in tune with God's will, and faithful to Christ's call.

That said, we should be surprised (and not a little distressed) at how unfamiliar some members of the Lutheran church are with God's Word. It is said that the Bible is one of the most widely published but rarely read books in the world. We, as spiritual heirs of Luther's legacy, neglect the reading of God's Word at our own peril. God intends it to be our strength as well, and the power of God's Word can keep us in tune with God's will, and faithful to Christ's call.

That is why the people of Saint Peter are invited to read through the Bible in 90 days this Fall. Using a program that has been successful in churches throughout the world (this past winter, 600 people at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church read through the Bible during the 90 days that led up to Easter), and partnering with our Centennial neighbors at Our Father Lutheran Church, we hope to immerse ourselves in God's Word, and be stirred to deeper faith and trust in the Good News of Jesus Christ.

I want to personally encourage each and every one of you to participate in this venture. We'll read about 12 pages each day. We'll gather once each week with our small group to reflect on the experience and encourage each other to keep up with our reading. My personal hope is that when the season of Advent arrives, and we begin to read from the prophets, those ancient proclamations about the coming Christ will be more powerful for us than they ever have been.

I know that many of you have attempted to read through the Bible on your own in the past, and have fallen short of accomplishing it. I am convinced that this is an effective way for us to help each other do that. Please consider joining us. Registration opens this month, and we'll kick off our reading on September 13th. I'll see you all then!