Rustlings (January 2, 2018)

I like television reruns. Am I the only one who remembers Peter Brady’s (The Brady Bunch) adopting the mannerism and voice of Humphrey Bogart – informing his family they were having ‘… pork chops and applesauce…’ for dinner? Surely I’m not the only one who remembers Opie (The Andy Griffith Show) killing a mother bird and being taught responsibility by having to care for and free the baby birds? Okay, how many times have we watched Captain Kirk (Star Trek) battle the Gorn? Do you have multiple viewings of Elaine Benes (Seinfeld) dancing or Lucy (The Lucy Show) working in a chocolate factory or Dwight (The Office) attempting to harvest organs from a CPR training dummy? I do not watch a lot of television, but there are certain episodes of certain series that I delight in watching over and over again. When they happen to make their way onto the network program schedule, I make time to enjoy them. I probably watch more reruns than first-runs on television.

This January, you will have the opportunity to enjoy some reruns. In January 2013, I was invited to fill the pulpit for a month. I spent those four Sundays in the four chapters of the Book of Ruth. I believe this small book – tucked between Judges and
1 Samuel in the Christian canon of the Old Testament – is a pivotal book on the path of faith development. For me, it has been the most important biblical book in shaping my understanding of and practice of faith. While many of you remember the content of those four Sundays past, many of you were not here. I would like to offer a series of reruns from the book of Ruth this January. For those who’ve heard the sermons before, I promise to rework the stories and material, so they will not be completely redundant. For those who’ve never explored the significance of this text, I promise I’ll be true to the messages I preached a few years ago.

On Wednesday evenings – at MidWeek Fellowship – beginning January 3, I will be repeating the material I shared during the Fall Hop On Hop Off Bible Tour. For those who could not attend those Tuesday luncheons (and for those who did, but said I went too fast), this rerun is for you. It’s a valuable, easily digestible survey of the complete Bible.

So, during the month of January, pull up a chair (or a pew) and enjoy some reruns with me…

— Jim