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Pastoral Letter - 23rd January, 2022

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The Peace of the Lord be with you!

We continue through the “Season of Light” as the baptized people of God where we find ourselves focusing on the “centrality of the Word” which becomes a “lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path”. Indeed, we are sometimes referred to as “the people of the Book”. Every Lord’s Day, as Christians we gather around “the Book” or the “Word of God” to hear again what God is saying to us.

Many are the testimonies that had it not been for the opportunity to read the Bible in Church, persons would not have known how to read. Yet, others remember the times when they gathered around the family altar, although half asleep, where the reading of the “Word of God” was central. Others recall having to read the Bible, tattered and torn, to an ailing relative, hence sharpening their reading skills and knowledge of the Bible. From these examples we will recognize that the reading of the Bible was not left to the “professionals”. Reading from the Bible ought to enable us to feel a connection to others, inclusive of our forebears of yesteryear.

However, I cannot help but wonder, as the Scripture is read, do we, as worshippers, hear our life stories? Do we feel a connection to our ancestors of the faith and, most importantly, to God in Christ? Do we feel a connection to other worshippers? Do those who read the lessons for the day appear to be disconnected from what they are reading? Do they appear disconnected from the people who have gathered to hear? Do they “practice” reading before the service starts? Is it a bad thing or necessary to practice the reading? Or should the reader be “professional” enough to read without practice? When persons comment that the Scripture was poorly or well read, what exactly is meant? What are your thoughts?

Have a blessed week!

Your pastor and friend,

Mark S. Christmas

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