It was just five days ago that I sat transfixed on the lawn of Loma Linda University. I watched from the front row as student after student made the short walk across the commencment stage. Although only 30 feet, those few steps represented a dynamic shift from medical student to Medical Doctor. Beneath the golden rays of Southern California, scores of freshly minted doctors recited the Physician’s Oath. In the midst of the family celebrations, the smiley photos, the corporate “happy dance,” and the congratulatory embraces, the commencement speaker’s message hung in the back of my mind. “Opportunities rarely fall in your lap. You must chase them down and make the most of them.”
As we travelled back on the airplane that afternoon and the drone of the jet engines put baby William to sleep on my chest, I continued to reflect on that message. When Jesus invites us to follow Him, He calls us to share the hope and joy of our relationship with Him. Many times, we go about our lives, hoping that the opportunity to share will simply fall in our laps. Many times, however, fulfilling our calling requires a step of faith to seize an opportunity that may be before us.
This is why we do outreach as a church. There are people near our church that need to hear the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They need to know the joy of living a life with Him. They need to experience the hope of a second coming. This summer and fall, we desire to seize the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus with this community. It begins in just a few weeks with our VBS program. In August, the effort will continue with our SunnyCity community fair. In September and October, we will spend six weekends exploring Adventist faith as it impacts the family and the community.
But none of these programs can happen without volunteers from our own congregation. Together, these projects will require hundreds volunteers. I invite you to consider how you might be able to serve as we work together to serve and witness to our community.
Don’t know how to get involved? Join me tomorrow after potluck to talk about plans for our six weekends of outreach in the fall. I’ll lay out the vision for the series. We’ll talk about strategy. And we’ll talk about where you will fit in. We’ll need pray-ers, greeters, food servers, cooks, table-setters, children’s program volunteers, discussion leaders, and many others. I hope that you’ll join the conversation tomorrow after potluck as we work together to seize the opportunity to reach out to our neighborhood for Jesus.
Tomorrow’s worship service will be one to remember. We have put together a service that will be rich in music and spoken word that will lift up Jesus and challenge us to walk closer with Him. We will also be celebrating as Barbara Windham is being re-baptized during second service. One thing is certain: We can all look forward to a meaningful Sabbath day together. As this Sabbath begins, I wish for you a wonderful weekend and a rich Sabbath blessing.