From Contributor to Editor
Becoming LLC’s Publications Director and an editor has placed me in a unique position. I have long been a contributor to the Voice of Zion and on occasion to the Christmas in Zion. Now I receive the writings of others and help prepare them for publication. The editors strive to keep the “writer’s voice,” yet editing is necessary too. I knew little of the behind the scenes activities that it takes to publish written or electronic material. The work is time consuming, demanding, and doesn’t end at the close of the work day. There is also joy, and all who partake share the belief that publications are part of gospel work and inspired by the Holy Spirit, for the believer’s benefit.
As a Driven Nail
Becoming the director has made me ponder the purpose of our periodicals, the Voice of Zion, Shepherd’s Voice, and Christmas in Zion. Their names now seem to stand out in a way I had not noticed before. I marvel at how closely each name reflects the purpose and content. The message of each is as a “driven nail,” for the “words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the master of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd” (Eccl. 12:11). Solomon’s words picture how words are used to build and shape our lives. We are the workmanship of God (Eph. 2:10).
One People, One Congregation—One Calling, One Hope
I believe that the Voice of Zion is the written “voice” of God’s kingdom on our continent. Through its articles, we are united in doctrine, faith, and fellowship and are encouraged to continue this mutual journey toward heaven. By reading it one realizes that we are one people and one congregation, united together in one calling and one hope. We are not independent federated congregations or individuals believing in different ways but rather one spiritual congregation, the body of Christ on earth. We can join with Apostle Paul’s thought that we are “no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19).
The Good Shepherd Gathers
The Shepherd’s Voice is also such a telling name. It stirs one’s imagination to picture the Good Shepherd, Jesus, speaking to little children gathered around Him who listen intently to every word. The text and pictures comfort them and plant the seed of God’s Word in their tender hearts. They are encouraged in faith and to see God’s kingdom as a secure place to live. By reading to our children we help in gospel work and heed the command of Jesus to “Suffer (permit) the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14).
Christmas in the Believing Home
Christmas in Zion brings the real meaning of Christmas into our homes. It is found in the birth, life, and resurrection victory of Jesus Christ. In it we can read the many Bible passages and explanations that prophesied of His coming and of the fulfillment of the promise. These assure us of the firm foundation on which our faith and hope is built. We are comforted and encouraged too by the life stories of those that have faced adversity but who continued in faith because the reward is great. We read how the traditions for celebrating Christmas have changed and how cultures vary but also that the good message of the birth of Christ doesn’t change and has transcended generations.
Music, Poetry, Books
LLC publications also include Christian music and poetry, both of which uplift the heart. Numerous books on doctrine and life are written to establish and guide us on the journey. By the means of the various publications, I believe the Good Shepherd has prepared a table for us in the presence of our enemies (Ps. 23:5). We can nourish our souls by taking time to read and listen.
My hope and all who labor with me is that the children of God would value and use the various publications for the strengthening of faith. They prompt us to discuss the “way and journey” with our friends, children, and grandchildren. They comfort us in times of distress and doubt.
April 2017 Voice of Zion