I have been so nourished by my preparation for Sunday’s message. The text is from Luke 4:14-21, and it is the first recorded message of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel. It is an incredible message and the response of the people was both amazement and anger. We will focus on their amazement this Sunday.
In my studies, I was reminded of the first message I preached. I was a recent graduate from Point Loma, with a music degree, yet I had a call to be a minister. I was hired to be the Youth Pastor at the Garden Grove Church; I was 22 years old. My senior pastor was going on vacation and asked me (actually told me) that I would preach one of the services. He slotted me into the prime service, of course, the Sunday evening service. Though fewer people attended, and it was never publically stated, it was often verbalized among those who attended that it was those who were the most spiritual and dedicated that attended the evening services. I had never taken a preaching class, but I was confident that I could communicate God’s Word effectively. I studied diligently and used an ancient device called a typewriter (for those who are unfamiliar with this, do a Google search). I had reached a level of competency at typing 45 words per minute with only a few mistakes. My final product was a manuscript 2½ pages, single-spaced, which contained all the biblical knowledge I possessed. I was a little surprised as I stood to preach that Sunday night when there were not as many people in attendance as was normal. (Some of those who would normally attend shared with me later that they had schedule conflicts that kept them away, and I assured them they had missed the best message I had ever preached!) The response of those who attended was that they were amazed (actually dazed). My message, with all my biblical knowledge, was spoken in such a rapid fashion that I completed it in just 22 minutes! I wonder why it was another year before I was asked to preach again. The good news is, this Sunday, I’ll be sharing Jesus’ first message… not mine.
Reminder, this is our Annual Church Elections Sunday where we will elect our new Leadership Ministry Team for the Church Board and Missions Council, as well as delegates to District Assembly and Missions Convention. All members of our congregation, 15 years and over, are eligible and encouraged to vote; we need your vote! Ballots can be cast before and after our morning services.