From the Associate

Timothy 1:13-14 – “Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.”

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ of Zion,

A great joy we have in learning more about God, about the gifts of God, and about the Christian life, is that the learning we embark on is deep and wide. Saint Paul says the learning we receive is “sound words” and a “good deposit.” There is so much to take in, where does someone begin? I remember when I started seminary, and all throughout my time in pastoral formation at the seminary, always having this feeling of catching up. No matter what I learned, there was always more. Just as a balloon expands and touches more airspace, so also as our knowledge expands we come to realize how much it is we don’t know. And also, no matter what theological truths I thought I had grasped while in seminary, there was the challenge then of translating and teaching them to the people of God. As the old saying goes, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get!”

During Lent this year our focus is, as Pr. Gjerde said earlier, all about learning the gifts. The ancient term for this Christian learning is “catechumenate.” As Christians we are always in a state of learning and growing. As we learn more and more about the Lord and His ways the deeper we go into the mysteries of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As we learn we begin to see the height, breadth, and depth of the Holy Scriptures. And through all our learning, we come to appreciate all the more our brothers and sisters in Christ who also are on the “narrow road that leads to life” (Matthew 7:14) as they join
us in worship to receive all God is and has and learn together what it means to be a justified rebel, a sanctified sinner, a baptized child of God.

In worship, both on Wednesdays and Sundays, we are learning about God’s gifts. In Bible studies on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sunday mornings, we are learning about God’s gifts. With so much God wants to give there also comes with it the need for us to learn what these gifts mean, what these gifts do to us, what these gifts do for us, and how these gifts “enlighten the eyes of our hearts” (Ephesians 1:18) for the glory of God.

May the Lord bless your learning at Church, at home, and at work while on your lunch break this Lent and beyond!

In Christ,
Pastor Chris Johnson