I was the guest preacher this past Sunday at Word of God Lutheran Church in Sharpsburg as their great young Pastor Jason was out of town. It was their “Rally Day,” the first day of Sunday School re-start for the coming school year.
I took the opportunity to preach on the benefits and blessings of Sunday School. I would assume that every congregation has started or is about to start a new Sunday School year, so I will share those thoughts in brief with you also.
We begin with the question, “What’s Sunday School all about?”
There are multiple answers to that, of course, depending on whom you ask. Some would undoubtedly say that it’s about the fellowship and care one both gives and receives as a member of a Sunday School Class. No argument there. Often one’s Sunday School Class is his or her main connecting point at their church. Amen!
With that acknowledgement, the answer I would give is simply this, “It’s all about God’s Word.” Yes, from the Nursery Class to the Senior Saints Class, Sunday School is ultimately all about the study of God’s Word in the Bible, Holy Scripture. It’s all about “being in” The Word.
This past Sunday I told the Lutherans in Sharpsburg again how much I appreciate the name they chose for their congregation, Word of God Lutheran Church. That moniker certainly declares the foundation upon which they stand and the conviction they bring to their surrounding community. And Amen to that, too!
The next good question is this, “What does God’s Word promise us about God’s Word?” Taking advantage of our modern world, of course I “Googled” that question and found almost unending results. The one that hit home the best was a link for “100 Verses of Scripture about The Word of God.”
As I reported this in my sermon, with a smirk on my face I said to the congregation that I would now read all 100, to which they lovingly chuckled. What I did do was openly set my phone timer to two minutes and read as many as I could while still keeping my enunciation clear. These are all encouraging declarations of the strength and power of God’s Word for us.
Here are just two, which will probably sound familiar to you.
“Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my Word will not pass away.” Matthew 24:35
The other 98 are just as emphatic, and even the 100 really only begin to cover the subject.
Now this question, “What can we then expect when we study God’s Word, when we “are in” The Word?
I’ll give you a very short version here of my sermon points. Using the God’s W.O.R.D. as an outline, yes a good-old-fashioned preaching tool, let’s answer this question.
W — God’s Word will fill us with Wisdom. Wisdom is different from knowing facts and learning words and phrases. God’s Word will fill us with the true Wisdom, the Absolute Truth about who God is, who we are, what our relationship is with Him and with each other, what the purpose and meaning of this life is, and what our eternal destiny will become.
Genesis through Revelation gives us a “Biblical World View,” which equips us to understand and rightly live even in our hostile environment today.
O — God’s Word points us to Others. Showing us our sinful natural state of selfishness, God’s Word turns us from ourselves to Others. This entails loving and caring for one another’s hurts and needs, even of those who differ greatly from us. It also includes our response to the Great Commission given by Christ to take His Love, His Promises, and His Ways to everyone, again even to those who may differ greatly from us.
R — God’s Word promises us the much needed Re-starts we continually need to be given. God’s Word promises us the unconditional love, the grace God gives us because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. God’s Word assures us that we are forgiven of the past and set free for the future.
D — God’s Word calls us into Discipleship, which is the day-to-day living and following as students in the footsteps of Jesus, our Teacher and Master. Some time ago, the letters W.W.J.D. were very popular in asking about life’s walk and life’s decisions. The determining factor, and rightfully so, was to ask, “What Would Jesus Do?”
That is great. But to me it certainly begs the question, “H.C.W.D.W.J.W.D.U.W.K.W.J.D.?” “How can we do what Jesus would do unless we know what Jesus did?” So we make an opportunity like Sunday School a priority in our lives. We study God’s Word. We join with others to “be in” The Word.
Then we can be the disciples Jesus is calling us to be, in our families, as parents, as grandparents, at work, at school, in our everyday lives out in the world.
What’s Sunday School all about? It’s all about God’s Word! And all God’s people said, “Amen!”
[Kollmeyer, a Fayette County resident for 36 years, is Pastor Emeritus at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Fayetteville. Follow Pastor Scott Ness and this great church at www.princeofpeacefayette.org. Kollmeyer until recently was Interim Pastor at Word of God Lutheran Church in Sharpsburg. Find some of his video recorded sermons at www.woglutheran.org and follow Pastor Jason Dampier and this great church on this site.]