As many of you know, I continue to do some Adult curriculum writing for the United Methodist Publishing House. Those of you familiar with the Adult Bible Studies quarterly may or may not know about the Daily Bible Study companion resource that follows the same themes but gives each student a daily Scripture, meditation and prayer to go with the quarter’s theme. In this way the weekly group lessons for each Sunday are coupled with a devotional guide for personal prayer and reflection.
Though I plan to take a break from such writing for a while, there are two new publications that I have contributed to that will be coming out soon. The first, already in print, is the Daily Bible Study Summer 2013 which has daily meditations from May 27th through August 25th. For this publication I have written the introduction and the Unit 2 meditations: “Worshiping in Jerusalem Again (Ezra)” from June 24 – July 28.
The second publication, not yet available, is the Adult Bible Studies quarterly for the Spring of 2014, which has lessons that will begin on Sunday, March 2nd of 2014. If you are not currently using a daily devotional guide, I would encourage you to add Daily Bible Study to your list of possibilities to try. The Summer 2013 DBS theme is “God’s People Worship.” Here is an excerpt from my introduction:
When the prophets of God speak, God’s people should listen. The prophet Isaiah points the people to the very nature and character of God as holy and worthy to be worshipped, not only be human beings, but by all creation (Isaiah 6) … Whether people realize it or not, there is a longing within the human spirit for communion with God, and without restoration of relationship with God, people’s senses can become dulled to all that is good, holy, and life-giving.
The weekly sermon given by a dedicated ordained minister from the pulpit of our local churches represents the voice of God to the “people of God”, gathered in worship and praise in order to go out into the world in service. She or he are our “Prophets”, calling us in His behalf to receive His power and use it in His name to help others.
Therefore, it is not only important that church members BE THERE, it is imperative … IF they are to bear witness in His power, His Holy Spirit, as they go about their daily life and activities. Worship in the gathered congregation is the most important hour spent on the first day of every week of the serious and committed Christian.