From the Pastor . . .

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly

St. Paul wrote those words in his letter to the Colossians (Col 3:16). And how important that it! For it is through the Word of Christ that we are spiritually fed, where the Holy Spirit comes to us and strengthens us in the faith, and where we find the source of our hope and life. The Word of Christ gives us the truth in the midst of a world filled with false teachings and opinions, and gives us the confidence that even when it seems like our world is falling apart, that we have a firm foundation in Christ that cannot be moved and on which we are safe - no matter what comes upon you.

That is also why the devil works so hard to try to separate you from the Word of Christ, making you too busy, too tired, too this, too that . . . to confuse you and scare you, to weaken you and separate you from your Saviour. So in addition to regular church and Bible study attendance to hear the Word of Christ preached and taught and to be fed by the Word made flesh Himself, I want to encourage you to try to be in God's Word everyday. That the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.

I know it's not easy, and while I cannot help you with time or busyness, perhaps I can point out some resources to help you spend time in the Word and read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest it, as one of our prayers says. First is the devotion insert that is in your bulletin every Sunday, and then also posted to the church blog [] every week (in case you miss a Sunday or lose the insert). There are suggested Bible readings listed for each day, along with some questions to help you think about them. The last three readings are almost always the readings that you will hear in church that coming Sunday - the hope being that by reading them first, then hearing them, those words will sink in and dwell in you richly!

Another great resource is the Treasury of Daily Prayer by Concordia Publishing House []. This book is available both in print and electronically and has readings and prayers for every day of the year. In addition, the Treasury is the basis for our Morning Prayer on the Web, available for you to log in and join every Monday through Friday at 7:00 am []. Because sometimes it's easier to do something together with others than alone. (I know that this is too early for some and too late for others, but this was the best time we cold pick for now!)

Other online resources that might be helpful for you are the daily reflections posted by Higher Things []. You can either read or listen to a brief reading and meditation each day. Or there is a blog a group of pastors has created at <>, where each day a reading is presented with helps for you to "read, mark, and meditate" on these words.

Or if you like actual books that you can hold in your hand (like me!) there are numerous books you can use (some of which are available in our church library), and periodicals like Portals of Prayer, which is always available for you free on your way out of church.

Or, if you have a little more time and want a bit more, Concordia Theological Seminary now streams their chapel services online at <>. You can either watch live at 10:00 am each weekday or go and watch from their archives later. (And maybe if you're lucky, you might get to see George or Brodi assisting that day!)

And this is just a sampling of what is available for you. Good habits are hard to form, and maybe this Lenten season which is fast approaching can be the time for you to begin and make this a regular part of your day - whether for you it is first thing in the morning, at midday, before bed, or whenever! Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly. And through His Word, God will richly bless you.

His servant and yours,

Pastor Douthwaite

Missouri Synod
114 Kingsley Road SW, Vienna, VA  22180
Rev. James Douthwaite, Pastor
Saint Athanasius Lutheran Church