Monday, March 22, 2010

Scripture and Thought for the Day

"The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me..." (Psalm 138:8).
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to worship at my home church and preach for the anniversary of the Junior Church of Mother AME Zion Church in Harlem. It was a beautiful day, it brought back many, many treasured and fond memories that moved me deeply. My godmother, who was my mother's best friend, was in attendance, as well as several of the friends my mother grew up with in Mother Zion Church. One friend of my mother's brought to me a picture of my mother when she was about 15 years old. Another church member brought me a copy of a youth program at Mother Zion from 1967, which he thought I might be interested in because it had my name on the program as one of the youth participants.
During the worship, member of the church customarily welcomes the visitors (they used to call this "The Courtesy Guild"). Yesterday, Mr. Dabney Montgomery, who was also my Sunday school teacher as a youth (he is now 85 years old), did the honors. Just before extending the official welcome to the visitors, he told us that yesterday, March 21, was the 45th anniversary of the completion of the Civil Rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama; the first march, which began on March 7, 1965, ended violently and became known as "Blood Sunday." Mr. Montgomery, who grew up in Selma, was one of the marchers that day in the struggle for freedom. His comments then continued as he tied in the struggle for civil rights and the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge 45 years ago to the struggle for universal health care, which culminated yesterday in the historic vote of the Congress to pass this measure.
His comments brought to mind a Scripture that I thought appropriate to share with you: "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me..." (Psalm 138:8).
The convergence of events yesterday made this Scripture come alive for me in a new way. Forty-five years later ago, a milestone in the march towards freedom and equality is reached; forty-three years ago, a little boy participates in a youth program who later becomes a pastor and guest preacher in that same church. All this goes to show that God is at work in our lives even now, in ways we cannot fully appreciate or understand. But we do know and are encouraged by this: "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me..."

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