Preparing for Worship: New Sermon Series and Fall Schedule Resumes

Preparing for Worship: New Sermon Series and Fall Schedule Resumes

John Haralson   •   September 8, 2016

Ruben’s The Four Evangelists (Sansoucci Palace, Potsdam)

…[I’ve written this gospel for you], Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.  ―Luke, 1:3-4

Dear Friends,

Last week, my wife and I were driving to catch the ferry to Bainbridge Island. We were coming from a different direction than we normally take. And, with all the construction going on in the vicinity of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, we were unsure if we would be able to turn onto the ferry from the direction we were heading. 

As usual, I was using the Waze app to help us get there. At one particular point, the app told us to go straight, but my wife thought it was better to go left. 

What should we do? Should we trust some random phone app, or should we trust my wife’s gut instinct?

We all know the feeling of not being certain we are on the right path. Whether you’re lost while driving around downtown, or second-guessing a job you took, a relationship you find yourself in the middle of, or what you ordered for lunch, you know the sensation of having the sinking feeling that you might have made a mistake.  

Being a disciple of Jesus is no different.  

The Gospel of Luke was written to a man named Theophilus. We don't know a lot of details about Theophilus, but he appears to be a Christian who is having second thoughts about the life of discipleship he has embarked upon.  

Apparently, Theophilus is questioning his decision to become a Christian. Living in a culture that is marked by ruthless power politics, a relatively weak and often hidden church, and an almost incessant questioning and dismissal of the Christian faith, it is easy to envision Theophilus asking questions like: 

     Is this Jesus story really true? 

     Is God really faithful to his promises? 

     What does true discipleship look like? 

Luke went to great lengths researching and crafting his gospel to answer questions like these. He wrote it so that people like Theophilus, and us, might have confidence that God is at work in the world and in our lives through Jesus Christ. To be a disciple of Jesus is to be on the right path―the path of salvation, which to Luke and his original audience meant healing or wholeness.  

So, whether you’re a new Christian, a seasoned saint, or someone investigating Jesus for the first time, Luke is a great book for you to dive into.  

As I mentioned at the church-wide retreat, we are going to slow down as we go through Luke’s gospel and take as much time as we need to get through this rich book.

This week: Luke 1:1-4

Liturgy is here

I hope to worship with you.

Warmly in Christ,

John

PS - Community Group kick-off happens during Christian Formation Hour. Grace Kids classes resume as well. We also will return to our fall schedule:

      -9 am Worship

      -10:30 am Christian Formation Hour

      -11:30 am Worship