Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Remembering August 3 1969

Last night a group of Wheaton friends shared in celebrating my birthday with cards and a fun gift. But, to my surprise, my wife Carol said she wanted to tell the group something first.

She flipped back 41 years to a Sunday when I preached in our home church in West Norwood, London. She described my nerves as a young (very) inexperienced preacher facing my first preaching at both morning and evening services, and how I vomited beforehand in sheer nervous tension! I really did feel overwhelmed.

The morning sermon was tidy, worthy and short. I survived! But the evening was the main service with over 500 people crowding into the church, and filling its galleries. I had prepared and prayed hard to preach on the divided reactions to Jesus in John 10:19-20. With dry mouth and accompanying nervous sensations I began my sermon. A stillness came over the congregation and me.

Then, in the middle, I had my one and only experience (so far) of God unmistakably speaking to me. That's the only way I can describe what happened. Suddenly, even as I was speaking, I heard clearly a voice say: "Michael, I call you to preach." It was the last thing I expected to happen. Indeed, the way that I was feeling, racked by nerves, this would have seemed the least likely occurrence. And while I "heard" this word, there was a peculiar intensity in the sermon that several hearers commented about afterwards.

I know that sceptics can swiftly dismiss such an event as some kind of subjective wish-fulfilment. But, I look back to it as a foundational experience of God's grace at work in my life. Remembering is an important part of Christian worship, ensuring that we recall God's work in the past. I was so grateful that Carol reminded me of this event, 41 years later!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's good to remember and good to be nudged and prodded to remember also. However we get there, it is good to recall all that God has done and is doing in our lives.

Mike said...

Dr. Michael Quicke, thank you for being obedient to God's call for you to preach and for wonderfully describing what happened 41 years ago. Mike and I just listened to the sermon from this past Sunday at Northwest Baptist Church and it was so filled with truth, knowledge and amazement of who God is and His love for us even in times we are fearful. It is with much appreciation and gratitude that you and your lovely wife Carol took the time out of a very busy schedule to talk to us "livng stone to living stone." We are grateful! May God bless you and Carol in all of your journeys!
Judy and Mike

Clement Okusi said...

Hi Michael, just came across your blog, very much enjoyed reading it, God bless.