Add Links to the Chain--The Goal of Bible Reading

by Pastor Pete Panitzke on March 23, 2020

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Did you make paper chains as a kid?
 
It doesn’t take long to make a chain of two or three links. But a chain of any length will take a little longer.
 
That comes to mind as I read our New Testament lesson for today. Click here to read Acts 1:15 through Acts 2:13. I see a number of links in the chain that reassure me we are on the right path on Our Journey to the Empty Tomb. 
 
What are those links?

  • Luke references individuals. This wasn’t “fake news” that couldn’t be tracked down. Luke personally interacted with many of these people.
  • Peter reveals his faith in the inspiration of the Bible. The Holy Spirit spoke through King David.
  • We see prophecy and fulfillment. Betrayal foretold in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New.
  • The apostles’ primary calling was to be a witness to Jesus’ resurrection. As we read on in Acts, we shall see that these men were willing to face imprisonment and death because they could not deny what they had seen. Jesus had been dead and now he is alive.

Even in our Old Testament lesson for today (Click here to read Numbers 32-33) I see some of those links. I see something unheard of in ancient writing. The author admits his mistake. Moses jumped to conclusions about the 2 and ½ tribes that wanted to settle on the east side of the Jordan River. The Holy Spirit allows us to see that no one, not even a great leader like Moses, was perfect. All along the Bible is teaching me that I am just like everyone else, in need of a perfect Savior to pay for my sin.
 
Yes, Numbers 33 is one of those “skim through it quickly” chapters, a long list of place names, most of which we cannot locate today. But why did Moses record this list? Again, this isn’t “fake news.” The Israelites journey from slavery in Egypt to the edge of the promised land was a history Moses and the people lived through. He could trace it on his map.
 
You and I believe in a God of history. He recorded these key events of the Old Testament to reassure us that he is in control. He recorded the history of Jesus’ resurrection so that we can be certain for forgiveness and eternal life. Nothing can separate us from God’s love – not the physical and not the financial consequences of this pandemic.

A Record Attendance!

Let us celebrate that God is blessing our efforts to join together through online worship. On Saturday and Sunday, 469 devices logged into the Traditional Service (click here to view). I found that for online worship, the average number of people watching one device is 1.8 - so that is a total "attendance" of 844!

The Bridge Livestream was watched by 390 devices (click here to view).

In addition, 366 devices watched our Wednesday Lenten service (click here to view).

God be praised!

Thank you for your support!

Finally, thank you to all who are able to continue to support our ministry during this time. Click here if you want to make a one-time or recurring gift or change your online giving. 

May God give us spiritual strength to endure the isolation we are experiencing. Remember, you are not alone. If we at St. Paul's can help in any way, please contact any of the Pastors directly or use our contact form.

Your brother in Christ,

Pastor Pete

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