April 10, 2020 · 7:32 am
S. M. Lockridge (1913-2000) was a prominent African-American preacher known for his dynamic, passionate, and fervent sermons. One of his fiery lessons was “It’s Friday. But Sunday’s coming!”
In the early days of our blogging we wrote a column with that title. For two years we looked at the narrative of Jesus’ crucifixion to see the drastic change in people’s lives and the world’s history from six hours that Friday to very early Sunday morning.
Friday was a metaphor for betrayal. Denial. Cowardice. Hate. Suffering. Despair. Defeat. And death. But Sunday symbolized victory. Help. Hope. Healing. Love. Joy. And eternal life. Continue reading →
December 11, 2015 · 5:19 am
It was the beginning of 3 days that these 3 men would never forget. Never.
The hour was late. Much had happened. The last supper. Prideful posturing. Washing feet. Judas’ departure. And the ensuing walk across the Kedron valley with Jesus teaching. Encouraging. Comforting. Promising.
Peter, James, and John are invited to walk a little father, as Jesus entered into prayer to the Father.
Struggle. Sorrow. Supplication. These words describe Jesus’ emotions in Gethsemane’s garden as Thursday turned into Friday. Continue reading →
November 27, 2015 · 5:48 am
Today is dubbed as “Black Friday.” According to Wikipedia the term originally began in Philadelphia to “describe the heavy and disruptive vehicle traffic that would occur the day after Thanksgiving.”
In more recent years “Black Friday” describes the busiest shopping day of the year. It’s a day when retailers open early and close late. It refers to businesses who’ve been operating “in the red”, now turning a profit and operating “in the black.” Continue reading →
November 20, 2015 · 6:27 am
Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” Pontus Pilate asked Jesus at His trial.
The power in Jesus’ day resided in Rome. Everyone knew it. Their empirical rule reached across the known world. The power was evident in their army. Their outposts of culture. Their massive building programs. Their roads. And, of course, their ruler. He was Pontifex Maximus. Continue reading →
November 6, 2015 · 5:39 am
My good friend, Ralph Walker, recently gave me a book by Mark Templer entitled The Cross of the Savior. I’ve just begun to read it, but it looks very good. The back cover promises “a fresh perspective on the cross of Jesus.”
“The message of the cross was perplexing to Jews and Gentiles alike–a scandalous stumbling block to the Jews and a meaningless act of self-sacrifice to the Gentiles,” writes Templer. “But to us as Christians it is power and wisdom of God, the focal point of our faith. It is the light that shines in our darkest night. It is the hope that keeps us sane when all are losing their heads. It is our lifeline when we are drowning in the muck. It is our only hope in a dark and sinful world.” Continue reading →
October 30, 2015 · 5:09 am
The other day my friend, Billy Akin, in Nashville, wrote asking me for a piece that I had recently used in a sermon about the Kingship of Christ that I thought our readers would enjoy. It’s by the 20th century African-American minister S. M. Lockridge.
These words came toward end of his famous sermon “He’s My King.” It speaks to the greatness of Christ and his absolute supremacy and preeminence. Read it slowly. Thoughtfully. Reverently. And adoringly. Continue reading →
October 16, 2015 · 6:50 am
I’m not in the habit of reading random obituaries, but this one dated August 7, 2012 grabbed my attention.
Virginia Dean Whalen Farless got the last laugh Tuesday evening
According to the obituary in the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal Mrs. Farless was the source of smiles, laughter, jokes and funny stories. It read in part.
“She chuckled in the face of death from the time she was born, the baby child of Thaddeus and Lottie Whalen in Harrison County, KY, on May 10, 1932. She had severe asthma and on many occasions, the doctor predicted to her older brother Gerald that she would not live through the night.”
“She not only lived, but laughed a lot, when she graduated from Oddville High School (perfect), as a funny pastor’s wife in SC, KY and Ashland City, TN, a Kentucky Colonel, and a nurse at Deberry Prison. “ Continue reading →
October 9, 2015 · 6:35 am
In his poem, In A U-Haul North of Damascus, Georgia poet, David Bottoms, expresses the lament of the soul that cries for redemption and wonders if it’s worthy of grace.
Lord, what are the sins
I have tried to leave behind me? The bad checks,
the workless days, the scotch bottles thrown across the fence
and into the woods, the cruelty of silence,
the cruelty of lies, the jealousy,
the indifference? Continue reading →
October 2, 2015 · 5:54 am
Jennie Wilson was born on an Indiana farm in 1857. Her life was filled with trouble and change. Her father died in infancy. At age 4 she suffered a spinal disease that rendered her an invalid, confined to a wheel chair. However, she developed a love for music and poetry and began writing lyrics for hymns.
The post civil era in which she lived was a time of transition and vulnerability for many poor farmers, share croppers and emancipated slaves. In was during the time of societal upheaval that Jennie wrote these words that later became a famous hymn. Continue reading →
September 25, 2015 · 4:20 am
We’ve all experienced it. The roller coaster of emotions. The highs and lows of life. Exhilaration to exhaustion. Excitement to Discouragement. Hope to despair.
Life is a mixture of good and bad. Sunshine and rain. Pay raises. But unexpected bills. The birth of baby. The death of a grandmother. A joyful wedding. A bitter divorce. Health and sickness.
But think of the incredible range of emotions the disciples of Christ experienced in just three days? Continue reading →