The nerve of God to take me to some places in my proclamation of the word that I would never have gone standing in the preaching context. To be sure it was not part of the preparation that is written for this task. The nerve of God!
I received the blessing of proclamation extended from the Covenant Community Church in Indianapolis for Thanksgiving Sunday 2023. I rose from my seat to begin this task with nothing in my hands. No pen, no manuscript, not even a Bible did I put in my hands for this task appointed in preaching.
I said that Dr. Benjamin Mays, (and I, on Monday’s rising, was in remembrance of the fact that while in Seminary I NEVER MISSED CHAPEL, Tuesdays & Thursdays… the Interdenominational Theological Center Chapel was like ‘a Box of Chocolates —your never knew’) but in my will to let God take control of my ‘Preparation of THIS Sermon’ Dr. Mays’ name came up. He often hung out in our Chapel as though during his latter years, in retirement, THIS was one of his chosen spaces.
I delivered the word that Dr. Mays spoke one day in Chapel when he was the Preacher, saying “When I was young I could deliver The Preached Word without any form of written manuscript. Now I’m old and I don’t stand in this place without… a manuscript.” He put his glasses on and read his Message. I then told Covenant that “I am the exact opposite of Dr. Mays in THIS. During the Days of my youth I maintained my manuscript —Preparation AND Delivery. Now”, I told The Church, “I am bold enough to stand in this place and just ‘Let God’ use me in Proclamation.” The NERVE of God! The text taken was from the sermon on the mount where Jesus says “no one can serve two masters either he will love one, and hate the other…”. Subject: “Serving Two Masters”.
So as not to linger in this space any longer concerning the word of God that came, to me first, and to the Covenant Church Community (to include several members of my family on this day; my Delta Line sister Shirley Lewis Johnson whom I’ve known since we were 18 years old as freshman at Tennessee state University; two of my students from Bennett College where I was their Chaplin;) not to linger on such a great and powerful blessing given to us IN the Church to close out the 2023 season of thanksgiving. “The NERVE of God!”… to be… Continued!
Into The Christmas Season is a ‘Do It NOW’ procrastination of my 2023 life. I guess it can be considered ‘A New Year’s Resolution’: in the formation of a new “Study Group”! It will be BIBLE/LIFE in scope so that the churched AND unchurched can find a place of reverence for their individual life… online starting January 2024. For the seriously inquiring minds of ultimate concern as well as any life who has the desire to ‘start their journey’ into… ultimate concern.
I have come to see Dr. Clark’s teaching that there is “ONLY TWO types of Sermons:
1 One) “Text Led”. Where your TEXT (and only ONE TEXT; (so many Clark students NEVER GOT that the very minute you introduced a SECOND TEXT was when he came bursting through the door from the Lab waiving his infamous ‘Red Handkerchief’). “ONE TEXT… Led” inTo LIFE. NO GOOD to spend your entire message in the TEXT (as most preachers do). You absolutely have to SHOW US “LIFE” from your Text. It’s The “What About Me”! And,
2 Two) “Life Led”. From LIFE into the TEXT. This 2024 study will be “Life Led”. A methodology in the study of LIFE that will lead us into Bible. Indicate your will to join this group by text:
(WOW) revelation! Seeing just NOW that TEXT=SCRIPTURE, MESSAGE=SERMON… has evolved for this generation to text=phone communication, message=messy age of transmission of alternate truth, dares and lies? The nerve of… man!
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