Devotions feed updated/fixed

Unknown to me, the RSS2 feed on our church homepage for twice-daily devotions has not been producing a 100%-approved feed. Now it’s fixed, so it should work in all feed readers. I’ve recently begun using Google Reader, for example, because it synchronizes with other tools. Now, it works with our twice-daily devotions.

If you don’t know what any of this is about, here’s the scoop. A special link on our home page (Here via Bethany’s name, or Here via Concordia’s name). automatically provides links to excerpts from the Bible every day. On Sunday, it shows the historic readings for that Sunday in the Church Year. Every other day, it shows the morning and evening readings from the daily lectionary found in The Lutheran Hymnal and in the companion book of The Lutheran Hymnary called the Book of Family Prayer. Also included in these devotions are readings from the Monthly Psalter, which takes the reader through all of the Psalms every month.

If you haven’t tried it yet, please do! And share it with someone else!

A Detailed Survey of the Bible

Do you wish you knew more about the actual contents of the Bible? We have begun an ongoing series of classes called Getting Into God’s Word, which introduces students to every different kind of writing in holy scripture, and leads us into each of them by covering specific books and chapters. But even if you have taken advantage of these classes, would you like to be more familiar with all of the events and teaching in holy scripture?

The Christian faith is unique among the world’s religions, because it’s tied closely with the history of the world. While Muhammad is certainly a person who really lived, the central figure in Christianity is much more than a prophet of God. Jesus Himself is divine, the eternal Son of God, yet lived, moved, performed miracles, and taught at a very specific time in world history. His disciples continued that teaching after Jesus ascended to heaven, as history continued. False religions have no more historic evidence in their support than the false prophets who taught them, but Christianity includes detailed claims about the course of human events from the dawn of time, and many of those claims are supported by evidence from outside the Bible!

Wouldn’t you love to be more familiar with the story of the world as presented in the Bible? It’s also the story of salvation for every member of the human race. Such a knowledge would help you to judge between religious or historical claims you hear on television, in school, or at work. Even more importantly, such a knowledge would deepen your own Christian faith.

For that reason, I am considering offering a special class in our parish when the time is right. It’s called “The Story of Jesus the Messiah,” covering most of the Bible in survey form, over 96 lessons. We would start with 32 lessons on the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). This course would be different from the kind of classes we have held in the past. Most of the learning would be done individually, just you and your Bible(s). We would meet weekly, maybe for only about a half-hour, so that I can monitor your progress and keep the class on track together. Your work at home each week would probably take from about half an hour to about two hours. If you wish to go slowly, it could take longer.

The class would cost almost $14 per student for each of three units. The price includes a workbook for each student. We could possibly have our churches subsidize that cost, so that the final price per student could be around $10 or so. I’m considering advertising this class to our communities, as it may interest some of our neighbors, and they may wish to join us.

If you would be interested in such a class, or would at least wish to learn your Bible better, then look for a sign-up sheet to be posted at church. We will need to find a time for these meetings. Some could be done during Lutheran Family Fellowship. Some could be done immediately after services, including mid-week services. Concordia’s Sunday Bible class, or Bethany’s Confessing Jesus class could give some of their time, too. We could conduct part of the lesson, including online discussion, on the Moodle part of our web site. You may have other, better ideas. If so, please speak up, and voice your interest in such a class.