How Do You Know What You Know

If you are learning something new, how do you go about finding out what you need to know? In my case, the first place I try to look is usually the owner's manual or instruction book. If I can't find it (which is likely the case), my next course of action sometimes is to see if I can find the owner's manual online.

After that, another course of action that has come about in the last decade or so, at least for me, is to see if there is a video explaining what I need to know on YouTube. It is amazing how many topics you can find on YouTube, including how-to videos. It is also amazing how many videos you might find for a specific topic. Everyone seems to be an expert. But are they really? Who do you trust? It would be nice if you knew exactly who and what to rely on.

About 2,000 years ago, a guy named Theophilus was learning about Jesus. My guess is that he had heard many stories. Were they all the same? Were they all true? How was he to know what to believe and what not to believe? Who was the expert?

Bottom-line is that his friend, Luke, wanted to help him out, to help Theophilus really know and believe the truth. So, Luke did some research and investigation. We have the results of that research in the Bible. It is the book called the Gospel of Luke. (By the way, Luke wrote the book of Acts for Theophilus as well.)

During Lent (which starts with Ash Wednesday on February 17th), as God's people here at Southport UMC, we are going to read the book of Luke and learn what Luke wanted to share as the truth to Theophilus.  THIS IS OUR CONGREGATIONAL CHALLENGE FOR LENT 2021!

Further, on Thursdays during Lent at 6:30 p.m. (starting with Thursday February 18th and ending on Thursday April 1st (Maundy Thursday)), we will have an expanded worship service (we are calling it a Teaching Service) with study of the key stories from Luke. We encourage everyone to read the Gospel of Luke during Lent, even if you don't participate in the Teaching Service on Thursday evenings. Each week, we will send to the entire congregation what to read and what to think about.

As of now, at least our first two sessions on Thursday February 18th and February 25th will be via Zoom only. You will need an invitation to participate in Zoom, so please email me ( & and I will send you the necessary information. When we are able to begin meeting in-person again, we will still have an online option via Zoom for those that are not able to attend in-person quite yet. People in the Worship Center and people at home can participate together!

What do you believe? Let Luke and his gospel help inform you this Lent.

Pastor Doug