This week's reflection comes from Connie Wininger. Connie is a long-time member of Risen Lord Lutheran Church where she sings with the choir and volunteers with Risen Lord Montessori School.
Psalm 119: 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have a confession to make I have been a passive Christian. I attended church on Sunday, listened to the Bible verses believing that was all I needed to understand God’s word. I had Bibles at home, but they were buried in my bookshelves collecting dust. It was as if I had planted a seed for my faith, but I was not fertilizing and watering it, so my faith was not growing. Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. About a year ago I decided to put more time into growing my faith. I began devoting time each day to reading the Bible. I was surprised at how much it helped me to practice my Christian faith. For one, I now think of the Bible as a connection to the word of God and Jesus. Reading and studying the bible helps keep me in touch with God’s teaching so I may apply it to my daily life. It can serve as a guide on how to interact with others and the world. I have been reading the NRSV Lutheran Study Bible and the NIV Quiet Time Bible . Both contain guides and plans for the studying the bible. I’ve considering getting an app for my iPhone so I can leave my 2,000-page bible at home when I am traveling. There are several apps available for reading the Bible. Psalm 119:89-90 Your word, O LORD, your word is eternal; Your faithfulness continues through all generations; You established the earth, and it endures. Studying God’s word can also give us a stronger connection to other Christians. Until recently, I hadn’t thought much about how old the Bible was. When you think about the word being passed down for thousands of years it makes you realize how powerful the Bible is. Psalm 119:104 I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore, I hate every wrong path. Studying the Bible lets you see what God’s plan is for you. It has taught me what following a path of the Christian faith is. Sometimes, it can challenge you and force you to reflect on your own behavior. If your behavior is not in line with God’s teachings, it can help you see a better path. I would like to share a personal example of how studying the Bible has helped me grow spiritually. I can sometimes be judgmental and not think before I speak. One morning I was reading Peter when I read the following passage. It made me really think about my own tongue. 1 Peter 3:9-11 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” I would like to close with the following Psalms. Psalms 119:103-104 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore, I hate every false way. Connie Wininger