February has arrived and with it come promises of more daylight and special days to enjoy — like Valentine’s Day. Cards and candy fill the store aisles. Commercials for expensive perfumes and elaborate floral bouquets appear everywhere. February also comes with the promise of being the shortest month of the year! And that promise leads us to this newsletter’s theme—the shortest Bible verses.
Originally, the Old and New Testaments were not divided into chapters and verses. They consisted of God’s Word written on scrolls as history, poetry, prophecy, or even letters. The chapter divisions were developed by the Archbishop of Canterbury around 1227. A Jewish rabbi divided the Old Testament into verses in 1448. A printer named Stephanus first divided the New Testament into verses in 1555. Since then, most versions of the Bible keep those established divisions. The obvious benefit of having chapters and verses is that the passage you’re looking for is easier to find.
Let’s start by looking at one of the most shocking short Bible passages, Luke 17:32. Jesus told his listeners to “Remember Lot’s wife.” Lot and his wife experienced the fiery judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. Running for their lives, Lot’s wife turned around. Her heart was focused on earthly treasures, and it cost her life. Jesus reminds us all to keep our hearts focused on him. Jesus said it this way on another occasion: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, … but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. … For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt 6:19-21). In the next short verse, Jesus shows us that this treasure gives us eternal life.
John 11:35 is probably most well-known as the shortest verse in Scripture —“Jesus wept.” Jesus was crying because his friend, Lazarus, had died.
Mary and Martha were mourning the death of their brother. Jesus saw once again that death is the sad result of sin. He was moved to tears. Jesus knows how sad it is to lose a loved one, but he also knows what to do about it. Jesus assured Martha and assures all of us with these comforting words: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die”(Jn 11:25-26). Knowing that Jesus gives us eternal life by his death and resurrection, we can’t help but thank and praise him.
We end our look at the shortest verses in the Bible with Psalm 117. The following two short verses are found in the shortest chapter in the Bible. They invite all people to praise the Lord for his love and faithfulness. We know that God showed his love by sending us the Savior we so desperately needed. We rejoice that Jesus is our faithful Savior, and we share that joy with others. All nations and people are invited to hear the message of salvation and praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, all you nations;
extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord.
News From Our Worship Groups
It has pleased our heavenly Father to take our brother Chi to himself on January 17. Our sympathy and prayers are with Chi’s family and all who mourn his loss.
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” John 11:25
Welcome to the London group
Pastor Michael Hartmann made his first trip to London and met with some of our members at Northwood Methodist Church on January 23. Here are some photos from his visit.
Our Offerings in January
€180.00, £150.00, $20.00, and CHF220.00 were received in basket offerings. €2,116.90 were received as direct deposits.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:7,8
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