This summer it has been our privilege to have Mr. Drew Nix as a ministry intern. Drew is preparing to go to Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta to study for ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church. In addition to serving as Liturgist at the 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. Traditions services, he has been a great support to several of our staff, attended several Sunday School classes, and participated in various church activities.
This coming Sunday, August 5, will be Drew’s last Sunday with us and I have asked him to preach in both Traditions services. A pastor did this for me many years ago, and I have been forever grateful. I am excited to extend him this opportunity and I will be here to support him and to lead us in the celebration of Holy Communion. I know you will support him as well with your prayers and presence, and if you get an opportunity, please share a word of encouragement and appreciation with him for the time spent with us.
On Sunday, August 12, I will begin a new sermon series Did You Get My Text? Decoding Some of the Most Misunderstood Stories in the Bible. So few people know the Bible nowadays. I recently heard of a pastor who was standing downtown waiting on a bus. It was raining cats and dogs. An exasperated looking woman was standing next to him so he tried to be friendly and make conversation. “If it keeps this up, we’ll all have to buy an ark,” the minister said. “What’s an ark?” she asked. “You mean you haven’t heard about Noah and the great flood and all those animals?” he asked incredulously.” “Look, mister,” she replied, “I’ve only been in town for four days. I’ve scarcely had time to read a paper!”
The humor in this reminds all of us that we could each do better at becoming more familiar with the biblical stories that lay at the foundation of our faith. Take a look at these stories that we will study together in this series:
- Cain and Abel (Genesis 4)
- Gideon and His Fleece (Judges 6)
- David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)
- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3)
- Balaam’s Talking Donkey (Numbers 22)
- The Fish with a Mouth Full of Money (Matthew 17)
- Jesus Cursing the Fig Tree (Matthew 21)
- The Rich Fool (Luke 12)
As you ponder over these scriptural narratives in preparation for each Sunday, consider not only what you have read or previously heard about each one, but more importantly what the original author is trying to say. It is also crucial to think through how the ancient Hebrews would have heard these stories in their cultural context.
There is so much more to all of these accounts and I look forward to fleshing it out with you, and to discover what they say to us today. I hope you will join me each Sunday for an engaging excursion into the world of the Bible. I plan to ask you each Sunday…did you get the text?
Tonight as 6:30 p.m. in our gym, I will host the fourth session of the Summer Institute of Religious Studies as we continue our investigation of alternative religions. Thus far we have explored the Mormons, Christian Scientists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. This evening we will examine the Seventh-day Adventists, who they are and what they believe. As always, childcare is available.
What a privilege it is to serve with you at Asbury!
Rev. Dr. Kip Laxson
P.S. Amy Gonzalez, our communications coordinator, tells me that we still have some volunteer openings this Friday and Saturday for God’s Garage Sale. If you’re able to help receive donations, set up the gym, or serve as a welcoming ambassador to our community, go to asburyonline.wpengine.com/godsgaragesale and pick a time slot. This is an incredible outreach opportunity and a mission initiative of which I’m particularly proud. Thank you, in advance, for your donations, time and generosity.