While I have been on vacation the last two weeks, God has blessed Calvary through the preaching of Billy Woolsey ("Designed for Community") and Chuck Mailloux ("The Glory of Another"). I am grateful for the service of these men, and God's feeding of his people through them. And now I am very excited about entering back into our series in Luke's Gospel, The Certainty of Jesus Christ.
And friends, my sense of excitement and eagerness for Sunday is because of the focus of our attention.
You see, in the coming chapters, and therefore, in the coming weeks, Luke invites us into the early days of the ministry of our Savior and King. He transports us back to the region of Galilee. He sets us down in towns like Capernaum, located on the northern coast of the Sea of Galilee, in the midst of the people and places of the time of Christ. If you take the time to read this story slowly, closely, with an eye to all of the narrative details he provides in every paragraph, sentence, and phrase, you'll get there. To see the places, hear the sounds, listen to the people, be moved by the story.
And most important of all, the reason Luke is writing at all, is for you to see - and believe in, and have certainty about - Jesus. Luke vividly portrays - painting with his words - the person, ways, heart, compassion, convictions, passion, conversations, doctrine, stories, teaching, preaching, and works of Christ. This gospel is a living, breathing, powerful, ancient "documentary" (Heb. 4:12) meant to transform who you are, how you think, what you feel, and the works you do.
Sounds pretty good doesn't it?!
You know, I am just as frail as you. Just because I am a pastor doesn't mean I don't lose sight of these things. I (and all pastors) are just like everyone else coming into the gathered church family on a Sunday morning preparing to hear about and from Jesus. We are in-process, holified saints desperate to hear the good news of Christ and his deliverance. We have faced a week in which the oppressive powers of Satan and this world, and the reality of sickness and disease that afflicts our friends, family, and neighbors seems to rule the day, exhaust us, and threaten our joy and hope.
That is why Luke's story, Luke's documentary, Luke's historical account is so important for us. Why it means everything to us. For this coming Sunday we will see (in Luke 4:31-44)the power of the Holy One of God as he casts out unclean and powerful demons from the people they possess and oppress. We will hear his booming voice as he rebukes great fevers and various diseases so that they flee from the bodies which they afflict. We will listen in on the wonder and amazement of the people of Capernaum:
And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” (Luke 4:36)
This Sunday, we will consider Jesus. We will consider the words of this Holy One which possess such authority (Lk 4:31), and we will ask, "What if we believed?"
That he still speaks.
That his word possesses authority.
That it frees and heals.
And when I hear it, I should fall on my knees, in wonder and amazement, and worship.
“Between Sundays” is a weekly e-letter written mainly for the people of Calvary Community Church, but that I hope will be a blessing to the readers of this little blog.