Fun times on the horizon for us! Last year we began something that will be coming back by popular demand—Heritage Sunday! On October 5th, we will yet again celebrate our various heritages and the contributions of various cultures around the globe to our life of faith. We will be sharing in prayers and song from all over the world, and since it is World Communion Sunday, we will also be sharing in breads from all over the world. We also have a couple of important global Christian events coming up at Covenant in the next few weeks. This Sunday (Sept. 28th) Emily Miller of the PC(USA) world mission office will be at Covenant to talk more about the Young Adult Volunteer program. You may remember that we have sent 3 young Adult volunteers to serve abroad in the last 5 years, and this international ministry has been very important to our church community. Next Wednesday evening starting at 5:50 we
Jonah may very well be my favorite book in all of scripture. I know that it is really hard to say that, given all of Jesus’ parables, given the wonderful stories of the patriarchs, given Paul’s finely crafted arguments, given the lyric poetry of the psalms, or even the passionate pleas of the other prophets. For me Jonah nicely sums up the challenge of the good news of the gospel and does so with a boat load of sarcastic, cynical, humor. Let’s pause a moment to talk about Biblical Genre. You may have heard this speech from me before, but it bears repeating—Scripture varies widely! Unfortunately, the religious community seems to approach all of scripture as though it were written in such a way as to be read the same. There almost seems to be a level of fear that if we don’t approach all scripture with great reverence and gravity we will be struck dead by lightening from above.
I LOVE the Message version of the scripture this week. You can take a look at it here: The Message Romans 14. This is a fine bit of writing by Eugene Peterson that adds so much meaning to this passage for modern ears. Of course, this raises interesting questions about what we look for in a version of scripture. If I am looking for the most accurate word-for-word translation of a given piece of scripture, then for my money, I turn to the NRSV. Knowing the original languages, knowing the techniques used in translation for this version, and knowing the people that did it lead me to believe the NRSV is most often the most accurate translation. However, accuracy is not always about word-for-word translation. Sometimes it is about kinds of meaning that don’t come through in a word-for-word translation. Idioms, cultural references, words that don’t have a good English equivalent, poetry, traditions behind the text, are all important parts