The national and international news is unusually gloomy this week. As I write:
- Wall Street is in the midst of a record economic free fall that threatens our national economy.
- President Clinton is struggling to save his presidency and his marriage.
- Once Mighty, Russia is fighting to simply feed her people and survive.
- The war with worldwide terrorism seems to be rapidly escalating.
What is happening and what can we do about it? My answer may sound trite but when events get out of hand most experts stress returning to the basics. There is nothing more basic than taking another look at your faith by getting involved in a serious Bible study. Most of us own Bibles, but do we really try to read them? Think about how God still shapes our lives. For example:
- Our belief in God dictates our moral and ethical standards.
- Our faith gives us hope when hardship or tragedy strikes.
- Our faith allows us to see the world from a better perspective.
- Our belief in God gives us the desire to help others and be more sensitive to their needs.
Each September, our church begins several Bible studies designed to help deepen our faith. While preparing for the twenty-first century we rediscover how God is still active in the world. Holy Scripture continues to offer solid solutions even in a fast-paced world of high-tech communications, Jerry Springer-style dysfunctional behavior and unstable economic conditions.
Where do we start… the beginning! When is the last time you read this passage: A children’s Sunday school class? “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” Can an educated American still believe in the Biblical account of creation? It’s a good story but hardly intellectually stimulating? Why do we ignore it? Could we be afraid of what may be discovered?
Open your Bible and read chapter one of Genesis again. But this time read it as beautiful poetry expressing God’s power and love. The poet never attempted to answer questions of modern science or history but chose instead to look for a creative way to express love for God’s creation.
But Larry… why the seven days? First: They are meant as a statement of faith to show that God created order and we are a necessary part. Out of nothing, God created the universe and then created us to carefully manage God’s creation. Second: The seven days are meant to illustrate the importance of celebrating the Sabbath: God rested… so should we.
Genesis is not the only scripture that describes God as creator of the universe and still in control:
- In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God and he was God. (John 1:1)
- When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you have set in place…(Psalm 8:3)
- Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us and we are his. (Psalm 100:3)
- To Job: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” (Job 38:4)
Are you looking for strength to calm your fears of uncertain world and local events? Do you seek forgiveness and peace to release you from guilt and anguish? Are you looking to deepen your faith? Read the creation story again and behold the wonder of God. Then, look for a Bible study to help you grow in your knowledge and love of God which may not necessarily make your life easier, but it will allow you to cope in a way you never thought possible.
Who knows… you may even find some needed answers! Stranger things have happened!