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Fall 2022 Preaching Series 2: Disciples Know the Bible

So good to see so many of you back in the Sunday routine … summers are strange times in a parish because people are really in and out for three months or so … so welcome back! I hope that our gathering outside today will allow us to reconnect with one another after the long summer.

Today we continue our Fall preaching series that will focus on DISCIPLESHIP ... And you already know that making disciples is why Christian Churches exist ... so, we continue with the second part of our series entitled: DISCIPLES know the Bible.

· What do you know about the Bible?

· How did you learn about it?

· What does it tell us about God and Jesus?

I was happy to read in the New York Times Magazine two weeks ago the interview with Father Mike Schmitz, the founder of the very popular podcast entitled The Bible in a Year. The story says that the podcast has been downloaded 350 million times and an average of 750,000 times a day. The 20-25 minute installments follow a study plan and features two or three short scriptural readings and a short reflection by Father Mike. It seems to me that the program can be called the Bible in small bites, but what an effective way to connect with the Word of God.

For me, this incredibly popular engagement begs the question, So what? In other words, why are all these people, and perhaps even some of you, listening to the reading of the Bible? What’s the end game? What’s the plan? What’s the purpose? While not an exhaustive list, here are some reasons for studying the Bible:

1. Cultural literacy

2. To learn what it says firsthand

3. Personal edification

4. To help others

5. Because it is God’s Word to us

6. Avoiding error

I’m really hoping that among the many answers are some that acknowledge wanting to get to know God and his son Jesus and becoming a better disciple.

The passage today from the book of Amos 8:4-7 gives a stern warning, Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land! This Old Testament lesson offers us a chance to explore the concept of justice. As you are well aware, the eighth-century prophets Amos, Isaiah, and Micah were in one accord about the Lord’s demand for justice. We hear echoes of the words:

Cease to do evil, learn to do good, seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:16d-17)