We had a great day of worship at Morehead United Methodist today. Good crowd, great music, freedom in preaching.
Sunday August 28 starts a new experiment! We have known for a while that we need a contemporary service. But... when? The single best time is Sunday at 11 a.m. But we already have a sublime service going on then. We decided that we would run them at the same time. In the new Wesley Hall I will preach right out of the starting gate, and then the service will enter the time of praise and worship, while I head to the sanctuary to preach in that service.
I am looking forward to it, because I will preach as often as anyone will let me! It's going to be different, a little strange, but I think it will bear fruit in the long run for us. We don't have any room in the sanctuary for new people... a GREAT problem to have!
This coming Sunday, I will be preaching on "What I Learned About Jesus in Las Vegas." I was in Vegas with John, who was 4 then. One afternoon while he napped, I went all Jim Wallis on the Gospels. That is, I started to read them closely, looking--not as Wallis did, for verses about the poor--but for verses where Jesus indicates that He is the only way to salvation.
This is a very offensive idea in our times. We are supposed to pretend that all religions are valid, that "we're all going to the same place, just by different paths." I don't buy it. But I wanted to look closely.
What I found shocked me: you'll be left with very little in the Gospels if you take out the parts that assume the exclusivity of Christ. At almost every turn, Jesus demands that we understand His uniqueness. Along the way, we'll unpack the meanest thing Jesus ever said...