A Lamp and a Light
by Seattle ALC
A LAMP AND A LIGHT
At this time of the year, we are preparing to return to our winter schedule. Summer months have passed, vacations are over, and school is about to begin. Parents and teachers are preparing for this new school year. Stores are busy with people outfitting their children with new clothes and buying the necessary supplies for the first day of school.
How well I remember my anticipation of first grade. Mother had purchased a new bib overall for me. I searched the house for a spare hanger because I wanted to look my best on the first day of school. The enrollment in our one room school consisted of ten children- -three were from our own family, and the teacher was a neighbor girl who graduated from high school with my sister Sally. It was her first year of teaching.
We are thankful for the educational opportunities that we have in our country. As Christian parents, we are prayerful that God will bless and care for our children so that they will be properly taught and be spared from improper influences. I believe that every parent experiences a variety of emotions at the thought of a child’s first extended influence outside the home
In our homes and in our churches, we have endeavored to guide our children by the principles of God’s Word. Thy Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light upon our pathway (Psalm 119:105). The Bible is the safest guide . We thank our nation’s founding fathers for the Christian heritage they bequeathed us, and we pray that the forces whose stated aim is the removal of God from our national life will not succeed.
The Word is both a lamp and a light. The lamp is kept burning by the oil of the Holy Spirit. It can be likened to the lamps that burned in the sanctuary in Old Testament times and to the pillar of fire that guided the Israelites by night during their long wilderness journey. The lamp does not give light to our eyes so that we can see our way–but it gives proper direction so that we remain on the pathway. As Christians we do not simply trust in our own wisdom, but in the One who has said that He will guide us with his eye (Psalm 32:8). God has a plan for each of us. In the first place, He wants us to remain his children, to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and to walk in obedience to his Word. God is also willing to help us in making individual decisions in our lives. It would be important for us to follow the advice James, the Apostle, gave when he said: Do not say that today or tomorrow we will go into a certain city and continue there a year and buy and sell and get gain. You do not know what will happen tomorrow. Instead you should say, If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that (James 4:13-15). Here at church we also move back into our regular schedule.
May I ask all of you who worship here, and other brothers and sisters in faith, to be prayerful for the ministry of the Gospel. Let us not ask God for his blessings only for our own congregations, but for all who labor in the word and doctrine . May He also bless the work in foreign lands, adding to the church daily those that should be saved.
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” Christian community is like the Christian’s sanctification. It is a gift of God which we cannot claim. Only God knows the real state of our fellowship, of our sanctification . What may appear weak and trifling to us may be great and glorious to God. Just as the Christian should not be constantly feeling his spiritual pulse, so, too, the Christian community has not been given to us by God for us to be constantly taking its temperature. The more thankfully we daily receive what is given to us, the more surely and steadily will fellowship increase and grow from day to day as God pleases.
Christian brotherhood is not an ideal which we must realize; it is rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate. The more clearly we learn to recognize that the ground and strength and promise of all our fellowship is in Jesus Christ, the more serenely shall we think of our fellowship and pray and hope for it.”
–Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
“We have a sure prophetic Word By inspiration of the Lord.”
( From the writings of the late Pastor A. C. Holmgren- September 1997)
Submitted by Pastor Stan
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