Message from the Rector
By The Rev. Dr. Vincent Joseph Kopp
Dear Good People of St. Stephen’s,
If you’ve ever set the goal for yourself of reading the Bible, it is never too soon to start on your journey.
You can read the Bible fast or you can read the Bible slow. You can take a year reading a set amount every day or you can take three years--or even longer--following the Lectionary.
Whichever way you choose--a quick once through or an extended tour--stick with your basic goal: read the Bible all the way through at least once. And then meditate on--not debate--its meaning.
I had a wonderful friend and mentor tell me on his deathbed that his only regret in life was that he did not accomplish this goal, one he didn’t realize he had until near the end of his life. Reading the Bible had always been a vague aspiration, something major to do in the future, and a daunting goal at that. So he kept putting it off until--in his mind--it was too late.
I assured him that he had “read” the Bible into his daily life; and that he had lived its meaning through his actions and the way he treated others, and especially in how he kept God front and centered in all he said and did. Whether he was reassured or not I cannot say. My hope is his regret was simply a brief moment and that it passed.
Yet his situation illustrates a reality. Whether it’s reading the Bible or something else, we have to start somewhere, sometime. And once we do, we have to continue until our goal is reached and our journey is done.
As the Spanish poet Antonio Machado wrote in Campos de Castilla:
“Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again. Wanderer, there is no road--Only wakes upon the sea.”
Let Us Pray:
57. For Guidance (BCP, p. 832)
“Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favor, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”