I need to make a confession. I’ve never been much of a Sunday night worship fan, not even when I was a younger pastor and Sunday nights were marked by the dessert fellowships at Shoney’s that followed the Sunday evening service. I always thought we could dispense with the service and go straight for the dessert. It wasn’t that I was against worship. It’s just that Sunday mornings always wore me out and I never relished gearing back up for Round Two in the pulpit.
But I have always loved Wednesdays. Let the middle part of the week roll around and I am ready to gather with the faithful yet again.
If hearing a preacher profess his lack of enthusiasm for Sunday nights doesn’t make you do a double-take, how about hearing one say that he sometimes enjoys being a part of the learning congregation! Most preachers I know are the world’s worst listeners (and sometimes I admit that I listen more poorly than at other times). But I always enjoyed the presentations Dr. Joe Lewis gave on Wednesdays when he was with us at MBBC. For me it was like being back in the classroom, and Joe always gave me something I could take with me and practice in my everyday discipleship.
Many of you will remember that Joe printed his Wednesday lessons (unlike an unnamed teacher in our church, present company included), and several of you no doubt still have copies of those presentations. But for those of us who didn’t, Joe has just published what to me was one of his best Wednesday series, St. Paul and the Cities. This volume sets the ministry of that great Apostle in the cities he visited on his various missionary journeys, most of which were strategically located in places that enhanced the gospel’s advance. As Dr. Lewis states in his preface, “Putting cities up front helps make the stories of Acts and in Paul’s letters come alive.” And indeed it does.
I commend this volume to you. I think it would make for an excellent personal study. Or if your Sunday Morning Bible Study class is looking for a resource that would stimulate conversation, I couldn’t think of a better one than this.
If you’re interested in purchasing a volume, go to Amazon and reference “Joe O. Lewis.” If you’d like the church to order volumes for your class, let Amy Jackson know and we’ll order them for you.
Joe’s dedication expresses his gratitude to our church. My hope is that our church will do the same by utilizing this most valuable resource as a tool for better understanding Paul’s message to those churches that were so vital to the Christian witness in the first church and for us who seek to do the same in our strategic place and time.
“The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it” (2 Tim. 4:17).