We live in a culture obsessed with the new and the next. From technology to health care, even fashion trends, everything seems to run on the theory that what’s new must be what’s best. In some ways, new things in our lives are blessings, like new medications that help heal diseases and new ways to communicate with people far away. But let’s not give up on all the old things, just yet.
Including the Old Testament. The New Testament, at 2,000 years of age, is quite ancient compared to most of what our modern world values, and the Old Testament pushes human understanding and experiences with God back thousands of years further. But that doesn’t mean the Old Testament has lost its value in our spiritual lives. We can still learn about God and hear His voice speaking through the most ancient passages of scripture.
Many of us are reading through the first and oldest five books of the Bible in Immerse: Beginnings. In March, we will read Exodus and Leviticus, and I will preach on Israel’s exodus wanderings. Some of this ma-terial may feel quite ancient and foreign. There are laws about how to eat and what cloths to wear. There are stories of battles between people we have never heard of in places we may never visit.
Still, the Old Testament is God’s holy and inspired word just as much as the Gospels, Paul’s letters and the rest of the New Testament. I love to read and teach the Old Testament, in part because it is so foreign to us, so far removed from our experience; and yet, we still find God’s truth there and discover how He, from the ear-liest days of humanity, pointed ahead to the plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. We learn in the Old Testa-ment that God doesn’t change and that He is patient, gracious and compassionate toward people like us who often rebel against our Creator and Redeemer.
On Sunday, March 24, we will also be blessed with a special guest preacher who I trust will help us find new ways to appreciate the power of God’s word, Old and New. That morning, we will welcome Justin Kron, a missionary with Chosen People Ministries, who shares the good news of Jesus with Jewish people and helps the larger Christian church support evangelism in the Jewish world. Justin will speak about why Jesus had to die to save us, connecting the Old Testament promises of God to the New Testament story of Jesus’ death and resurrection.