Katie and I spent May and June of 2014 in Tullahoma, TN, working and worshiping with the Cedar Lane church. We were in extroverted overdrive for two months, trying to get to know as many people as possible in this narrow window of time, before we would move to Little Rock and then to Peru. One of the many things we loved about Cedar Lane was Steven Hovater's preaching.
When we got there, Steven had been preaching through the book of Luke off and on for almost a year—what he calls a “long, slow walk through the book.” We absolutely loved it. We were dropped into the middle of the story, but Steven's so good at rehearsing it even as the narrative moves forward. I even got to be a part of the series, preaching about the time Jesus said to receive the kingdom like kids and the story of Jesus, a blind man, and Zacchaeus.
We liked the series so much that when we moved to Little Rock for a couple months, we kept up with the series via podcast. We eventually wanted to start from the beginning and work all the way through the series. That day has come. Katie and I have been in Arequipa for six months now, and are excited to let Steven minister to us in this way, even if it's after the fact.
If you want to work through the series with Katie and me, here's the first sermon. Steven frames the book of Luke this way:
There are four interconnected lenses through which we understand this journey to a changed world:
- The Holy Spirit - there is no story of journey in Luke without the Holy Spirit driving the way. The Holy Spirit is God’s agent for carrying on the mission of God in the world.
- Humility - this is the theme of people’s response to what God is doing.
- Reversal - Jesus is consistently enacting reversal in the lives of people around him.
- Joy - when humility comes through enacted reversal, it creates a space for incredible joy. Is there any greater failing in the church than to lose our joy?
After introducing the broad strokes of the book, Steven dives into Luke 1:26-55 for the last ten minutes. It’s good.
Steven's hilarious. He also has an exegetical and homiletical gift, which makes for a killer combo. We thank God for his friendship and look forward to working through this awesome series.