April 19, 1995. I don’t think I will ever forget that day. I was getting ready for class at the University of Oklahoma and listening to the radio. The DJ said there has been some kind of an earthquake that had hit downtown Oklahoma City — his studio had been shook. In reality it was not an earthquake, it was a bomb that had been detonated at the Federal Building. Our city had been shaken and stirred to action.
Immediately First Responders arrived at the bombing site. Police and Fire and EMT ran toward the scene. In their response, many of us (me included) found inspiration as I found myself at a local charity that night volunteering to help pack supplies for those in need.
As Oklahomans, we have often looked to the courage and response of the first responders to the scenes of different events: F5 tornados, floods, and wildfires.
I was thinking about this today as I prepare for a new series we are kicking off at Wildwood on Sunday. In the Bible, when Jesus arrived, there were a number of people who ran to the scene. In that first group of responders to Jesus, however, we see something interesting. Instead of being inspired by all their faith, we find that many rejected Jesus instead.
In Matthew 11-12, there are a number of “first responders” to Jesus message who struggled to understand who He was or what He was coming to do. This included such varied groups as John the Baptist and his followers, the Pharisees, and even Jesus’ own earthly family. By looking at the response of these first people, we can see more of how we might respond to Him as well.
Join us this Sunday, April 15 at Wildwood Community Church for our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 worship service as we begin our series: “First Responders” asking the question, “when Jesus calls . . . will we answer?” See you Sunday!