Friday, October 16, 2009

Thank You Dr. Reed Lessing!!

Dr. Reed Lessing taught me Hebrew, and then I had him for Hebrew readings and Hermeneutics. And this was all in my first year at the seminary. He didn't know then, and I guess he probably still doesn't know, but he set an example for me in devotional life, and dedication to the study of holy Scripture, that I strive to follow still today. Shortly before leaving for my vicarage year, I took a summer course with him called Preaching the Old Testament, and again I learned from his instruction and example that my future ministry would depend on my own time in the Word of God. And so it began...
Some time early on during my vicarage year, I began spending time in the Hebrew of the Old Testament, as well as the Greek of the New Testament. Following Dr. Lessing's pattern, I began with Genesis 1, and Matthew 1. I would take 5,6,7 verses a day, or whatever my schedule would allow. And sometimes my schedule didn't allow any.

After returning to the seminary for my final year, coursework made it difficult to continue this pattern, but still, I made some progress--slowly.

Now in the parish, some days are more difficult than others to find time to spend with the Hebrew and Greek...but still, I pursue it. Some time last year I completed my translation of the Gospel of Matthew, and am now in chapter 9 of Mark.

But today...what began some four years translation of the book of COMPLETE!

I write this post for two reasons:

  1. So that Dr. Lessing, and the many more teachers that I and other pastors have had in our pastoral formation, would know that the Lord uses their service to shape us and mold us. You work is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58)!
  2. So that other pastors in the parish might be encouraged to spend time in the languages. Schedules are difficult, I know. But you will make progress, little by little. Your skills with the language will improve over time. But most importantly, you will be fed by the Good Shepherd through His Word so that you can also feed the sheep entrusted to your care as you serve the flock of faith.

Dr. Reed Lessing, THANK YOU! This ongoing study is dedicated to you.


saleskat said...

Thanks for the blog and for the good word for Reed. Glad you are still using the Hebrew and Greek you learned. It was a great blessing to me when I was in the parish and I can see that it is for you too. Blessings on your ministry.
Tim S
P.S. Tragic about the Cards! Can't wait till next year! Ha!

Greg said...

Thanks, Dr. S. We'll just have to hope they can resign some of the contributers for next year so they can make another run. Should be an intersting hot stove season.

JS said...

Greg, You've been me. I got stuck in Genesis. I started the minor prophets. I figure no one knows if I make a translational error since people hardly know them.

Good post and excellent encouragement to keep up the languages. Thanks! See you in December.