The Hollywood community has changed and the church has changed with it. Visiting with
members between Sabbath School and Church the long-ago emergence of diversity was reflected in the faces of the people. Together they are the Body of Christ reaching out to a uniquely challenging city of souls.
Together we raised our voices in worship, prayer, and praise to the Lord who saves us by His grace. My sermon on the meaning of Jesus' story of the Good Samaritan (it was not told merely to remind us to be nice to the needy!) spoke to the contemporary challenge of this church and their sincere response to Jesus' call to be salt and light in the heart of the
entertainment industry. It was encouraging to share "a word" with a full church of listeners who listened and responded to the words of Christ.
But its not tycoons and moguls that populate the streets of this city. Homelessness, mental illness, and people simply in need of someone to care is the reality of life in Hollywood. It is these--"the least of them"--that the Hollywood church is particularly intentional in serving in the Master's name. I was particularly impressed with the announcement by one leader that they would be "walking the neighborhood" later in the week just meeting and talking with people.
In the afternoon it was a special privilege for me to listen as my wife, Jennifer, teach her seminar, "The Ten Commandments of Christian Finance." Like no other presentation I have ever heard, she shows Biblically faithful principles of money as they relate to each command of the Decalogue. Her class of listeners responded with questions and she stayed by for some time answering individual questions. I expect she will be back again to teach the the budgeting and money management workshop that adds specificity and practicality to these spiritual lessons.
I am reminded again of the work of Jesus that we are called to do in His name--ministry to all, for all, in all, by all.