WS Update: Scripture

October 11, 2021

Yesterday we looked at the foundation on which our church’s values are built, scripture. Among other things, we were reminded of its role in not just comforting us in our times of need but confronting us in our times of rebellion. It is no great epiphany that we live in a culture that encourages us to live in echo chambers that affirm what we already believe, be they political, social or theological. In his book Breaking Bread with the Dead,  Alan Jacobs points to this trend, referencing theater critic Terry Teachout who talks about plays that flatter their audience,  reassuring them that the beliefs they came into the theater with are the ones with which they should leave: he calls this the “theater of concurrence.”

God’s words break into our inner echo chambers and challenge our beliefs and habits. As the writer Erich Aurerbach put it, “Scripture stories do not, like Homer’s, court our favor, they do not flatter us that they may please and enchant us – they seek to subject us, and if we refuse to be subjected we are rebels.”

Digesting scripture, taking it into our hearts (Revelation 1:3), should humble and change us, pull us out of our echo chambers, and shape us more and more into the one who, in love, has graciously revealed his word to us, Jesus. In a world that encourages us to demonize those with whom we disagree, the church should stand apart as those who love one another even as we wrestle together about how best to love and serve our neighbors.

In Christ,

So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’” I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.
Revelation 10:9-10

P.S. Here is a resource for you to start making scripture a part of your daily life.

Questioning Christianity Group

Starts meeting Tuesday, October 12.

Every week we’ll meet at a local Upper West Side restaurant. While enjoying a meal together we’ll take time talk about the basics of the Christian faith. This will also be a great place to ask any questions you might have about Christianity and how it relates to everyday life.

Sign up now

Coming up at Redeemer West Side

  • We are hiring: Have you ever wanted to work for a church? Now’s your chance! We are looking to hire for a number of positions within West Side Kids as well as a Communications Manager. Check out the job descriptions and spread the word!
  • Youth Ministry Prayer, Oct 17: From 9:30-10 am on the 5th Floor. Meet up with other Youth Ministry Partners (volunteers, parents, and other adults who love youth) to pray on behalf of the youth in our church and city. Questions? Contact
  • Attend Following Jesus, Oct 17: This 4 week class is for anyone who has been called to follow Jesus – whether you’ve been following for a while or just started. Learn practical practices as you learn to be more and more like Jesus.
  • Join a West Side Dads Meetup, Oct 23: All fathers are invited to bring their kids out for a playdate at Mariner’s Playground near W. 85th St in Central Park and meet other RWS dads. Join a supportive network as we learn together and encourage each other in this important calling in life.
  • Register for the next Family Worship Night, Oct 24: Join West Side Kids for an evening of worship, prayer, and community building. We’ll be breaking bread together by serving dinner. Space is limited so please make sure you register.
  • Fill out Artist Proposal Submission Form: Are you and artist? Do you know an artist? The Gallery at W83 works with artists and curators of all backgrounds. As a community gallery, we focus on artists living and working in our neighborhood, the Upper West Side, as well as in New York City and surrounding communities. 
  • You’re invited to HFNY’s Virtual Fall Benefit: Be inspired by an evening of hope, focused on the rebuilding and stabilization of affiliates who are beacons of hope in our city! RSVP today.
  • Teach ESL at W83 Ministry Center: The Open Door is hosting in-person classes this fall! Volunteers are needed once a week to teach adult on Monday or Tuesday evenings.