St. Andrew United Methodist Church
Thursday, September 19, 2019
Open Minds. Open Hearts. Open Doors.
 

 

         From the Sr. Associate Pastor’s

 

First Desire  

 

   John Jasper was a former slave, and following the Civil War, pastored the Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia. This was a great church.     

 

He was preaching one Sunday morning about heaven and joys which will await us on the other side. He made an attempt to describe those beauties and the joys of heaven. HIs avid imagination and emotions were caught up and as he opened his mouth to speak he couldn't say a word. He tried several times and the great congregation sat in anticipation. He tried again but no sound. He was overcome with emotion.     

 

Then the tears began to roll down his  black cheeks. Still, as he would attempt to articulate, no sound would come out. Finally, he just shook his head and waved the crowd to the doors but they continued to sit. Then he walked to the side of the pulpit, with his hand on the door to his study and again waved the crowed toward home. Again no one moved.

 

     Then, he moved to the pulpit and with a great effort composed himself and leaned over it and said  something like this: "Brothers and Sisters, when I think of the glory which shall be revealed to us, I can  visualize that day when old John Jasper's last battle has been fought and the last burden has been borne. I can visualize the day when this tired servant of God shall lay down his burdens and walk up to the battlements of the City of God. I can almost hear the Mighty Angel on guard say 'John Jasper, you want your shoes?"  And I'se gonna say, 'Course I wants ma shoes, ma golden slippers to walk the gold-paved streets of the City of God, but not now. 

 

"Then I can hear the Mighty Angel as he says, "John Jasper, don't you want your robe?"     

"I'se gonna say, 'Course I wants my robe, that robe of linen clean and white which am the righteousness of the saints, but not now.'     

Then the Angel would say, 'John Jasper, you want your crown?"     

"I shall say, 'Course, Mighty Angel, I wants all the reward that's comin' to me, this poor black servant of the Lamb, but not now.'  Then the angel would say, 'John Jasper, wouldn't you like to see Elijah, John the Beloved, and Paul?"   

"I'll say, 'Course Mighty Angel. I wants to know and to shake hands and yes, I have loved ones over here, but not now. Fust, I wants to se Massa Jesus.

I wants to see Him fust of all !."       

                                              And so do I? What about you?                                                                       

In His service               

Terry 

 

 

 

                           

 

 

 

From the Associate Pastor’s Desk

Jesus rejected hatred because he saw that hatred meant death to the mind, death to the spirit, and death to communion with his Father. He affirmed life; and hatred was the great denial.” – Howard Thurman

 

I read this online recently and it made me laugh out loud: “We all have opinions. Thanks to Facebook, we now all know one another’s.”

 

We live in an age where, for better or worse, thanks to the advent of social media – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and beyond – we all have access to a platform. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Depending on how we use those platforms, we have tremendous opportunity to lift up, encourage, invite into our churches those who may feel alone or excluded….

 

We also have a tremendous power to share words that denigrate, destroy, and hurt.

 

Our words matter. What we say. How we say them. I absolutely believe there are times God calls us to prophetically, and lovingly speak out – against racism, ageism, sexism – to name a few insidious evils in our broken world.

 

We see Jesus call people out in his ministry for example when he challenges the crowd ready to stone the woman caught in adultery, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” He’s blatantly pointing out their hypocrisy, yet without denigrating or debasing them. Rather he poses a question of self-reflection; invites them to think.

 

We live in a broken world. As Christians, we are called to call out injustice, care about

brokenness, challenge one another in love. And that is the key word – in love – without insult, without taking a jab at another’s intelligence, family, political affiliation, or experience of God.

 

May our prayer always be that we speak truth in love.

 

 

 

 In Christ,

Rev. Beth