on our Wednesday 10.4.06 message

I am a little late writing this summary. With Thanksgiving next Monday, an all day meeting later in the week, and a work day the following Saturday, I am feeling just a little cramped on study time. I am going like mad to keep the head above water on this project. The study and the fruit in our spiritual life at church have been worth it, but there is a lot of work.

Wednesday we had a little distraction outside our building during the service. Three young fellows decided to visit on the steps outside the exit door by the piano. One of our men checked on them. They were quite insolent and appeared to be drunk — and they appeared to be about twelve years old. This is not typical of our neighbourhood, but all the homes around have tremendous needs. Well over 90% don’t attend church at all, let alone profess salvation (or even have a clue about what that means). Our great burden is to somehow get the attention of a few and see them come to Christ.

Our message covered Luke 17.20-18.14. There are several events and parables strung together in a row here along a theme, and there are parallels in the other Gospels. We mostly stayed in Luke for the message. The subject was preparedness for the Second Coming. Just before our passage, the Lord healed ten lepers at once, with a Samaritan demonstrating faith. The Pharisees, with no faith, ask for a sign of the coming of the kingdom. The Lord cahllenges their lack of faith, but then calls the disciples to be prepared: they must be prepared for deceivers saying the kingdom is already come; they must be prepared to receive Christ, for the kingdom will come suddenly (a la the Flood, or the destruction of Sodom); they must be prepared to persist in prayer (as in the widow before the unjust judge); and they must be prepared with a humble spirit (as the publican in contrast to the Pharisee).

The last two points in the message were the point where the disturbance happened outside. It was quite a distraction to me for two reasons: the noise and worry of ‘what’s going on?’ and as I look back on my outline, those were the two weakest points of the message! I think that I summed it up better than I preached it, but even in summing it up, I realize I may have been stretching the theme a bit on the last two parables.

This is probably a reflection of trying to cover too much too fast, and being too detail oriented. I have a compulsion to ‘fit everything in’. Sometimes you just have to leave stuff out.

This Sunday and Monday should be better. We are expecting guests in the AM service tomorrow (10 am Pacific Time), so pray for softened hearts. We are also expecting unsaved guests on Monday for our Thanksgiving dinner and service. Pray for that service also, about 1:15 pm Pacific Time.

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3