This last week the NCU community was blessed to have four student preachers speak in chapel. On Wednesday, Lars Coburn shared a message about the importance of Jesus in his life and in the life of anyone who wants to be a disciple. His sermon wrapped up the long-running chapel series, Questioning Jesus. Lars shared some of his personal testimony and taught that we should view every part of our lives through the lens of Christ’s crucifixion, death, and resurrection.
On Friday, Chris Zirkle, Isaiah Blake, and Curtis Fields gave back-to-back homilies on Luke 24, the story of the risen Jesus meeting two people on the road to Emmaus.
Chris illustrated that, while the religious leaders, the Romans authorities, and even Jesus’ own disciples thought he had failed to accomplish a physical mission, he had actually fulfilled the greatest possible spiritual destiny by dying on the cross. He also noted that the two people Jesus met on the road might have been his aunt and uncle.
Isaiah, building off of Chris’ lesson, said that when the two travels recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread, they were given the choice every person is given: to either respond to the revelation of the risen Christ, or to stay at home like nothing ever happened. He said that we, like the two travelers, should accept the risen Christ and then run in joy to tell others the good news that we have been made aware of.
Finally, Curtis delivered a powerful message on how he despaired when his son was diagnosed with cancer, but was filled with joy again when he was cured after months of intense chemotherapy. This joy was comparable to that of Jesus’ aunt and uncle when they discovered that he had risen from the dead. Curtis also reminded us that even when things go devastatingly wrong Jesus is still walking beside us the whole way. He recalled how shortly after his son was cured of cancer, his lost of wife in a car crash. His testimony moved all who were present. Curtis said that even in those instances of incredible pain, Jesus walked with him, just like he walks with you and I through every hardship. We may not recognize him, be he is right beside us.
The four sermons were unique and each complimented those that came before and after it. Lars, Chris, Isaiah, and Curtis may all have been students, but they each taught like seasoned preachers.
Each student who preached last week was part of Dr. Terry O’Casey’s CM 380 preaching course. It’s an exciting class that gives “unexpected preachers” the skills they need to be effective communicator’s of God’s word. If you are interested in exploring or honing your preaching abilities, then keep a slot open in your spring semester schedule for Dr. O’Casey’s class.