Midweek Lent 5 – Wednesday, March 21, 2018

March 21, 2018  

“Study”

Luke 8:11-15

But as for that in the good soil,
these are the ones who, when they hear the word,
hold it fast in an honest and good heart,
and bear fruit with patient endurance.”
(Luke 8:15)

I find this to be one of the most endearing verses in Luke’s gospel. Endearing because the verse has an intimate feel: a person hears the word of God and that person holds it fast, holds it tightly to her heart. She is holding it tightly to a heart that is good. She is holding it tightly to a heart that is honest. Because of her patient endurance, fruit will grow from the seed planted. The word will spring to life. This is a beautiful, lovely image of the power of God’s word.

We need to KNOW God’s word.

We need to study God’s word.

We need to believe in the power of God’s word.

The purpose of spiritual disciplines is for them to transform our lives. The purpose of the discipline of study is that our studies transform our hearts and our minds.

St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans “Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds” (12:2).

The spiritual discipline of study is a discipline that asks us to gift ourselves with the gift of time: time to study scripture, time to study sacred literature, time to study our natural world, time to study human relationships, time to study our own hearts and minds, time to study the great events of our lifetimes, time to study the little moments that have great meaning. We gift ourselves with the time to think about all of these things, to ask questions about them, to find answers, to wonder about God’s place and God’s desires…

In the Gospel of John it is written that Jesus said “You will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” Jesus didn’t say “You will have the truth.” Jesus didn’t say “You will be given the truth.” Jesus said “you will know…

We study God’s word because we want to know…

We want to know the truth. We want to know God’s love. We want to know we are free. Free from sin. Free to love as God loves us.

I have two bibles that are my favorites. They are both New Revised Standard Versions of the Bible… both I have had many years. If you look at my bibles you will see that the edges of some parts of the bible are more worn than other parts, they are grey. The grey is actually dirt from my fingers that, over time has worn onto the pages I turn to again and again and again.

I love my bibles. I love God’s word. I hope you share my love for the words God has given us. I hope your bible has dirty edges to it. If not—pick it up. Start reading it. Read it again and again, over and over. Ask questions.

Open your good and honest hearts to the seeds that have been and will be planted in you. And God’s word will bear fruit. It will grow. And you will grow as a child of God who is much loved, always. As a child who has much love to give.

Amen.