This morning we looked at Acts 17:1-15 as Paul traveled to Thessalonica and Berea during part of his second missionary journey. As he preached, the Jewish Thessalonians responded negatively to Jesus, and the Bereans responded positively.
What became abundantly clear from this morning’s worship and our time together in the passage is this: everybody responds to Jesus.
You can see them coming miles away–those words and phrases that, when used, paint you into the metaphorical Christian corner. You promised yourself that you would take a different route the moment you even thought those words and phrases were coming, but they still found you. How did they find you? Do they have your address? Maybe you were using Apple Maps and it actually re-routed you right into their warpath.
For me, “I’ve prayed about it” is one of those phrases.
In my youthful zeal, I sometimes do things that may not fly well at all. Especially in a church that has a long history of trying not to contain anybody for any reason. At our church, we have comment cards. About a year ago, we put an “unsigned comment cards will not be read” warning on them so that people wouldn’t treat the card as a poisonous dart, letting staff know what they liked or didn’t like (all in the spirit of Christian humility and unity). Well, there was a season at the turn of the year where we got many-a-card with a specific comment that sounded something like this:
There are a lot of things that seminary teaches you and a lot of things that it doesn’t. I loved my time in Dallas–wouldn’t trade it for much of anything. However, the longer I plod along at The Chapel the more I realize how woefully inadequate I am to do this thing called “full-time ministry.”
One inadequacy that rears its head often: premarital counseling.
Saturday nights for the preacher certainly can be fun—or at least interesting. I remember being in town from seminary at an awesome LSU game when my buddy who was preaching (let’s just call him John L.) left somewhere in the third quarter. (I wonder if he regrets it). Either way, I thought he was crazy.
I am sure there are some pastors who use Saturday to get amped for Sunday. I try to do the same; but I also have small kids, a wife who likes me to be around (she must be crazy), and dear friends. So tonight Courtney and I get to spend some time with these three kids (I had to take a picture of one of their pictures because I forgot to take one before they went to bed!) while their parents celebrate 11 years of marriage. We wouldn’t have it any other way.