Renewal through worship and The Word

The Standard April 23, 2020

The daily to-do list easily can become monotonous, especially in the midst of coronavirus for those of us working from or staying at home. To some it seems like the movie Groundhog Day, with almost the same 24 hours coming and going with little variation. The grocery store shelves indicate a major shift towards loads of people preparing homemade meals and social media is replete with memes of those who feel caught on a repetitive loop of cooking and washing dishes. Countless others are working overtime to keep our healthcare system, food supply chain, financial institutions, trucking industry and numerous essential services going. These people are in the trenches for the rest of us.

In our spiritual lives, even in the midst of a pandemic, there are two Christian disciplines which maintain a refreshing newness. The first is reading the Bible. It is amazing how many times we can read a certain passage of Scripture over the course of a lifetime yet continually be struck by a different detail, point or application. The Holy Spirit constantly brings the words to life.

In 1855 at New Park Street Chapel in London Charles H. Spurgeon began his sermon, “The more you read the Bible, and the more you meditate upon it, the more you will be astonished with it. He who is but a casual reader of the Bible, does not know the height, the depth, the length and breadth of the mighty meanings contained in its pages. There are certain times when I discover a new vein of thought, and I put my hand to my head and say in astonishment, ‘Oh, it is wonderful I never saw this before in the Scriptures.’ You will find the Scriptures enlarge as you enter them; the more you study them the less you will appear to know of them, for they widen out as we approach them. Especially will you find this the case with the typical parts of God’s Word. Most of the historical books were intended to be types either of dispensations, or experiences, or offices of Jesus Christ. Study the Bible with this as a key, and you will not blame [George] Herbert when he calls it ‘not only the book of God, but the God of books.’ One of the most interesting points of the Scriptures is their constant tendency to display Christ; and perhaps one of the most beautiful figures under which Jesus Christ is ever exhibited in sacred writ, is the Passover Paschal Lamb.”

Spurgeon was preaching on 1 Corinthians 5:7. “Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch — as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread with sincerity and truth.” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8) The truth of Jesus as the Paschal Lamb brings us to the second important discipline –- celebrating the resurrection.

Christ being raised from the dead is the centerpiece of each Christian worship service at every time of the year. It never gets old. The Church focuses on it most pointedly during the Easter Season or Eastertide, which consists of the 50 days from Easter to Pentecost Sunday. Let us pray that through reading the Scripture and celebrating Christ’s resurrection we will be renewed during this particularly unusual season of life.

 

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