At the beginning of another school year, we are reminded of the value of study, for all of us. Specifically, we can consider the value of study in terms of our faith, which is peculiar because we concede that we cannot know everything about God. Our faith, though, values study because when we learn, we are able to grow in our faith; even though, we will never know everything about God.
Study is the devotion of time to learning, which we do together in this place. It is prayerful work, for its goal is parallel to prayer. We seek a deeper understanding of God, drawing closer to God’s presence through study, as we devote ourselves to a life of faithfulness. It is one way we love God with our heart, soul, strength, and mind.
We know that a disciple is a devoted student. Each rabbi during Jesus’ day had students, learning from them as they gathered in the Temple. Discipleship is a devotion to study, learning from the life of Jesus and trusting in the grace of God.
The goal of study is not to know everything about God, as we acknowledge is impossible, but it is to recognize we always have more to learn. We devote ourselves to study in many ways, like in Sunday School, where we read through scripture together and think about what it means. Study also takes place in Discipleship Training, Connecting Faith and Family, Bible Encounter, Spark Adventure, Youth Group, and Tuesday Night Bible Study (College). It even takes place through our music ministry and missions. It is vital to our faith.
There are many opportunities to engage in study this fall, and we all benefit from those conversations. It is through listening, dialogue, reading, and asking questions that we gain from one another, participating in the prayerful work of study. We devote ourselves to this learning, not for the sole purpose of gathering information, which is important, but so we might learn the ways of patience and kindness, mercy and justice, hope and forgiveness, perseverance and passion, community and service.
Together we devote ourselves to study and then we strive to take this curriculum and put it into practice, which is also another way we learn.