On the journey of planting Damascus Road Church, there have been a lot of “firsts.” There was the first set up, first public service, the first worship set, and the first communion. There were the first leaders, the first elders, the first converts, the first members, and the first baptisms. I remember the first “Amen”, the first mean email, the first stupid decision, the first confrontation, the first church discipline, even the first people who left. Then there is the first big move into a new building, the first roots put down, the first “home.” What I don’t remember are what the first words preached at our new building were. I’m sure they are recorded but the fact that I don’t remember them means I didn’t try to make them memorable. Quite honestly, I don’t think I really considered those as a “first”, didn’t try to make them “special”, or otherwise meaningful.
Reading a biography on Charles Spurgeon recently, made we wish I had. The author includes many excerpts from Spurgeon’s sermons and conversations in this book. He also includes the first words Charles Spurgeon spoke in their new building known as the Metropolitan Tabernacle. If I could go back in time a year and 9 months, these are the first words I would have endeavored to imitate:
I would propose that the subject of the ministry in this house, as long as this platform shall stand, and as long as this house shall be frequented by worshippers, shall be the person of Jesus Christ. I am never ashamed to avow myself a Calvinist…but if I am asked what is my creed, I reply, ‘It is Jesus Christ’…Jesus, who is the sum and substance of the Gospel, who is in Himself all theology, the incarnation of every precious truth, the all-glorious personal embodiment of the way, the truth, and the life.” (The Sword and Trowel, 1861)