Blessed is the one who reads . . . and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written. . . .
Today, a Sunday, people everywhere will gather in all kinds of settings to worship the Lord as the global community of God’s people. Scripture will be read, sermons heard, songs sung, and sacraments celebrated. I hope you will have an opportunity to be part of a gathered worshiping church community today. The church, the worldwide body of Christ, is dear to God’s heart, and God promises to bless all who come to him to read and hear his life-giving Word.
The book of Revelation, the concluding book of the Bible, opens with this promise of blessing to the Lord’s worshiping communities: “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy. . . .” The blessing begins with the person(s) reading Scripture for the congregation. Perhaps you have been asked to read the Bible today in your church community, or maybe you will be reading the Bible in the privacy of your home. Be encouraged by Jesus’ promise to bless you in the reading of his Word!
Jesus also promises to bless all who hear the Scripture and “take to heart what is written in it.” One thing I have learned as a retired pastor is how hard it can be to sit in the pew. I listen with my ears (most of the time), but good listening requires more. Taking the Word to heart happens when the Spirit moves to engage, challenge, and change us. This is not “easy listening,” but it is good listening. It is good to be on the receiving end of blessing from God.
Bless us, Lord, in reading and hearing your Word. May we take it to heart and live! Amen.
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