First Lutheran Church Plainville, Kansas
Peace Lutheran Church Natoma, Kansas
It is amazing what you find when going through boxes of old things. It is amazing, because more often than not, the question is: why would they ever save that?
I have asked myself that question more than a few times lately as I do some house cleaning. Why did I save a book I never planned to read? Why did I save these old t-shirts from high school? Why did I save these articles just so they could sit in a box and do nothing?
The answer is somewhat obvious, at the time they were deemed important, they were determined to be of some value; but today, they do not hold such an attachment any longer, and so it is into the trash they go.
As the years go by, and as each cleaning is conducted, you realize that there is less and less from your childhood still in your possession. Each cleaning conducted resulted in a few more things being trashed.
Necessary? Absolutely; you cannot save everything. And yet, what is saved is shown to be that much more important; the fact that you still have that baptism gown, or that wedding dress, or that pocket watch, reflect how much they mean to you, and how despite the fact that you have long thrown away the souvenir you picked up on every summer vacation, these things still remain.
And so when you look around your home and realize how little you have left of your childhood; think about that in relation to how little we have left of the ancient world. Not only has the ancient world endured its own annual rites of spring cleaning, but there has also been countless floods, fires, wars, and moths. Think of how much the ancient world had, that we can only read about in history books because there is no hard evidence of it still in existence.
And so what we have left from the ancient world, what we do still have in use today, is only that stuff that is truly important; only that stuff that was determined to be truly valuable that it was spared the fires and the floods; it was protected during war; it was not thrown away when someone went through to clean up and make room for new stuff.
And you know what we still have after all this time? The Old and New Testaments as found in the Bible.
The story of how these books came to be and how they were collected is long and varied, and in some sense complicated. But what is not complicated, what is not hard to understand, is that throughout the centuries, these books were determined to be worth saving; they were determined to be worth keeping; they were protected when invaders came and drove the people into strange and foreign lands.
The 66 books of the Bible are some of the oldest writings we have, and the fact that they were protected, that they were kept, that they were never thrown out or locked away, is a testament to what they contain. The words contained in these books were determined to be important and true, and so people sacrificed to ensure that you could have them today.
We turn to these sacred writings again and again, just as people in ancient times did, so that we might hear what the Lord of heaven and earth says; we turn to them and take the same comfort in the forgiveness of sins won for us by Christ’s death and resurrection that people of all times and places have.
The Bible has survived these thousands of years, and it has survived countless cleanings and downsizings in your own life. Do not just put it back in a box, rather read its pages and see what the Lord has done for you.