Yesterday, I preached again at one of the traditional churches. I began the story of the life and ministry of Jesus. I told the scripture from his birth story through to the first time people tried to kill him, shortly after he began his ministry. Next Sunday, I will continue the story through the passion and resurrection. The passion story will be somewhat reduced, because I will save some of it for the story of Peter.
Last night, an interesting thing happened. I was asked to take my mother-in-law and my niece to another city to a church, where my niece was supposed to sing. We arrived in the city and were told that it was the wrong city, so we went to the "right" city. Still wrong. As it turned out we found a church that seemed like it could be the church we were looking for. After talking with the pastor, he said that he would be glad to have my niece sing in their service, since it would be impossible to find the other church before the service was over.
Well, my niece sang, and then the pastor surprised me. "And now, the word from the Lord," he said "will be given by our guest pastor..." He signaled for me to come up to the front and preach. There I was in blue jeans and an orange t-shirt. Well, one good thing about learning the Bible in oral form, is that you can pull a Bible narrative out of your head and heart at a moment's notice. I told the story from the end of the morning sermon. It was from Luke 4, when Jesus went back to his hometown and taught in the synagogue. I posed a question to the church after telling the story. Hearts were broken and there was much repentance. God moved.
Here's the question: "Why did these people who were praising Jesus try to kill him a few minutes later?" Go read the story and see if you can answer that. If you figure out the answer, ask yourself one more question. "Why do I love Jesus?"