Clarence’s Clarion Call
February, 2013

     by Clarence Rempel, WDC Conference Minister

 I rejoice in following your statutes

as one rejoices in great riches.

I meditate on your precepts

and consider your ways.

I delight in your decrees;

I will not neglect your word.

Psalm 119:14-16

          “Rejoice, meditate and delight” are three delicious words that describe my lifelong growing appreciation for the Holy Scriptures. I am amazed that at least 40 authors writing over a period of 2,000 years in at least a half dozen different genres and three different languages would be compiled into this one story of God.

           I am fascinated by the unfolding self-revelation of God embedded in these writings that explodes into clarity in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son….The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” (Hebrews 12:1-3).

           I am intrigued at the complexity and the beauty of every Old Testament description of the coming reign of God springing into reality in the ministry of Jesus. Jesus self-consciously declared, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18). I want to treasure the Holy Scriptures like Jesus treasured them. I am honored to have a bit part in God’s ongoing human redemption and global restoration which was foreshadowed in the Old Testament, accomplished in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and is now being carried on by the church, the hands and feet of Christ in the world. This work of Jesus and the beginning work of the church were revealed to us in the New Testament.

           I treasure these Holy Scriptures, Old and New, not just as God’s grand story for the world, but as the redemption story that brought me into the forgiveness and friendship of God. It is these “God-breathed” Scriptures that now bring me wisdom for every day and every decision of my life. They are given to train us in what is right “so that all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (II Timothy 3:17). Key words for life transforming engagement with the Scriptures in Psalm 119 are follow (7x), keep (9x), and obey (20x). And so my prayer for myself and the churches of Western District Conference in this anticipated “Year of the Bible” is:

Teach me, Lord the way of your decrees,

that I may follow it to the end.

Give me understanding,

so that I may keep your law

and obey it with all my heart.

Direct me in the path of your commands,

for there I find delight.

Psalm 119:33-35