This is a simple question with much more depth than we even have space to completely unwrap here. How? If this is the question that came to mind quite instantly for you then read on and continue this short thought into a personal study for yourself and conversation with brothers and sisters in Christ. Back to the question of novel or encyclopedia and which one would you rather read? Not long ago Aubrey Spears, a highly respected rector and teacher in the Anglican Church, put it in terms of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and the Encyclopedia. If I read to a first time listener the last pages of “the Hunchback of Notre Dame” divulging the facts of Esmeralda’s judgment to be burned at the stake ensued by Frollo dying by falling off of the cathedral, they would have no way of understanding why the audience applauds the death of Frollo, the rescuing of the “villainous” Esmeralda and the friendly embrace of what sounds like outlaws. It is only within the context of the whole story that any one part can be fully understood and appreciated. On the other hand if I asked a person to open to the “Z” section of the Encyclopedia and read the content under “Zebra” they would have a full understanding of zebras without much confusion but largely without applicable knowledge.
The point in that little expose is place it in the context of how we read the Bible. Often times the Bible is approached as an Encyclopedia or owner’s manual for how to live life rightly. However, I truly believe that the Bible is written as a narrative with an overarching story that must bring context to any one verse or story within its entire story.
The reason for any of this discussion or thought is this: do you know the plotline of the narrative of Scripture? The story contains 4 major points as any good narrative does. Those four parts are introduction/character development, conflict/complicating action, climax, and finally resolution. The Bible operates under the same format following in creation, fall/sin, redemption/Christ’s death and resurrection, and restoration/completion of the original plan. We cannot read the Bible well or understand the gospel message or our role in Christ’s kingdom if we only open it up and read a few verses without knowing the whole context. I encourage you to read and remember the narrative of Scripture whenever you open the Bible and let it be interpreted through the 4-part structure and understand it centers unwavering on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. This short piece leaves much room for conversation and deeper understanding, and I encourage you to engage that and search it out in the story of the Bible. It is true, it is fantastic, and it is relevant, but only in so much as we understand the whole story for what it is meant to be, not an encyclopedia but a brilliant story written by God in his creative work.
Mission Trip: Alaska 2015
When: July 18-25 Cost: $1250-$1500 (pending airline deals) I’m so excited to announce that the St. Francis Student Ministry Mission Trip destination for 2015 will be Alaska. Writing from my own heart I can say nothing more or less than Jesus met me personally in Alaska, in the vast expanse of God’s created goodness that remains mostly untouched by human hands, and has ran with me up and down the mountains and valleys of life ever since. I led these trips in the summer of 2007 with a group of college students and newly weds who can all attest to God’s presence in this mission trip. We will be staying at and working for Victory Bible Camp, which is a well known Alaskan camp for running retreats, leadership camps, and also as a summer camp for young children who have a rough background and family life. In the past mission trips were done as an outward act of direct personal service to “those less fortunate than we are” with the thought in mind that we had reached a point in our preparation and faith to go and pour into others. Well, if we are going to be honest with ourselves, our culture, and value of mission trips, then that strategy doesn’t work very well in our culture. Often time’s people come back voicing the change and impact the trip had on them being as great or greater than the impact left on others. This statement is true both ways and gets to the real value of mission trips being the relational value and the brothers and sisters in Christ that we form new bonds or stronger bonds with. As our culture has diminished the role of church in our lives, after all the church used to be a community center in many places, so has the role and strength of our relationships within the church community. The hope for this trip is rediscover the value and depth that a relationship built in Christ can and should have in life. I pray that every person on this trip will come back with a fire and zeal for God and the church, and that every person will have a deeper relationship with God and with their peers so that en masse they may be stronger than the message culture feeds our students constantly. If your son/daughter would like to be part of the mission trip this year please email Josh at email@example.com.
2014-2015 Year in Preview: Chase the Lion
The 2014/2015 school year is going be a year of discovering our identity in Christ instead of in the world. As we grow to discover that identity together we are going begin to see how it takes living boldly and being risk-takers for Jesus in a culture that wants no part in submitting to a sovereign God. We will be working through many Bible character's stories to see how God had to reshape their identity in order to use them for His kingdom work. As we strive to grow with Christ and become more and more usable in the Kingdom we too must face this identity crisis in our life and become bold in our living for Him! So for this year we will be constantly coming back to our creed for the year: THE LION CHASER'S MANIFESTO Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don’t try to be who you’re not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Take a flying leap of faith. Chase the lion! - Mark Batterson So that is how we aim to become bold lion chaser's this year and in our lives! IF that strikes a chord with you as well, then join us in exploring what it looks like to take a flying leap of faith and chase our beloved Lion!!
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Student Ministry Contact Information Josh Ruiter - Youth Minister Office phone: 301-365-2055 Cell phone: 301-830-1060 email: firstname.lastname@example.org