Psalm 19: 1-2
White Rock Baptist Church Blog
All of you, I am sure, joined with me in thanking those who committed to praying for the Church and our celebration of 120 years of life on each day of the past week. We need yet another cadre of volunteers who will continue their offerings of prayers this week—at least 7 persons per day. You may pray at any time and from any place. You may join with others at moments of your choosing. We need and look to the abounding marks of God’s favor.
Last Thursday, I witnessed the closing exercises of our Summer Enrichment Program. The air was electric with the sounds of joy and expressions of gratitude. Thanks be to all who supported and/or contributed in any way. The spirit of God anointed this ministry. To Him be glory and honor.
Be reminded that the Reverend Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr. will be the preacher for our 4th Sunday worship. Reach out to other members and friends, invite them to come and worship. Reverend Goode will have copies of his recently published book for purchase and signing.
Keep me and the family in your prayers.
“May God’s grace and peace be multiplied unto you. . .!”
Joy! God be praised for our unity in Him.
Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
If you have the faith, GOD has the power. GOD is in the life saving business, and in the life building business.
Sermon - Rev. E. Theophilus Cavniess
Reaping God’s Justice
Read: Luke 16.19-31; John 5.24-30
He called out, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.” But Abraham said, “Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony.”
Luke 16.24-25 (NRSV)
What is justice? The first definition is “the quality of being just.”(Isn’t that helpful?) How about, “administering of deserved punishment or reward”? Believe it or not, there is a clothing store in California called “Justice.” As humans, we use the word “justice” to try to describe fair treatment but we are tempted to call those things that favor us as “fair” and those things that disadvantage us as “unfair.” For those of us who struggle with what is just, Jesus offered this parable: the Rich Man and Lazarus.
The Pharisees were listening when Jesus spoke this parable (Luke 16.14). It began as a far too obvious and familiar story: an unnamed rich man had everything, a poor man, Lazarus, had nothing. The Law of Moses said that those who kept the covenant would be blessed and those who broke the covenant would be cursed (Deuteronomy 27-28). To the casual observer, the rich man looked blessed and Lazarus looked cursed. Both men die and everyone hearing the parable expected the blessed man to go to reward and the cursed man to receive punishment. However, Jesus “flipped the script.” Lazarus ended up comforted by Abraham while the rich man was tormented in Hades. The first lesson of this parable is that one cannot always judge faithfulness from outward appearances. In Hades, the rich man could see (and apparently recognize) Lazarus. (We wonder if he saw him at the gates of his home but never showed any compassion.) From his place of torment he asked for mercy. He called Abraham “father” and Abraham called him “my child” (Luke 16.24-25); the relationship was not discounted but the judgment and the separation were real.
We witness injustice every day. There are too many verdicts for the privileged and against the oppressed. The second lesson of this parable is that God’s justice is not limited to our vision or our time. There is accountability. Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow (Galatians 6.7). That reaping is God’s justice.
Reverend Steven B. Lawrence
“AT THE TABLE WITH JESUS!”
August is the last full month of the Summer. Already numbers of persons have absented themselves for vacation or other reasons. You may be planning to do so at some point during this month. Whether away or here. May God’s grace and peace be multiplied to you.
I call your attention to several events ahead of us over the next 26 days. First of all, the Progressive National Convention meets in Philadelphia this week at the Marriott Hotel, Convention Center Monday through Friday. The Reverend Dr. Albert Campbell preaches on Tuesday, August 7 at 7:00 pm. I’m scheduled to preach to the Convention on Wednesday morning at 10:00 am in the Grand Ball Room, 5th floor. I ask your prayers for the week’s proceedings and for your fervent intercessions for my time of standing. If it is possible for any of you to be present it would be a source of inspiration to me.
Second, our Summer Enrichment Ministry closes this Thursday, August 9. For 6 weeks we have sought to positively impact the lives of young people by the power of the Spirit of God. Pray for the growth of the sowings of love that have been scattered upon and among them. God bless those of you who have given yourselves so freely and fully in these hot summer days. May God refresh and restore your strength.
The special musical jointly sponsored by the Mann Theatre and the Monumental Baptist Church on Saturday, August 13 deserves community support. I urge you to take advantage of the opportunity. Two of the artists have appeared here at White Rock. The time is 3:00 pm.
The Reverend Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr. former Mayor of Philadelphia, will preach here on the 4th Sunday at the 10:00 am worship hour. I ask all of us to make a special effort to be in attendance. Let’s give to him a good White Rock reception and hearing. I have requested him to bring with him copies of his recently published book “Black Voters Mattered: A Philadelphia Story”. It is a captivating story of the development of black political power in Philadelphia. You would do well to purchase a copy for yourself or as a gift to some young person. He will personally autograph each copy.
Throughout August we will be planning for the climatic concluding activities of celebration of our 120-year history as a Congregation. These involvements will occur in September and October and during the after-math days of November and December. Thanks to all leaders who attended our meeting on yesterday morning to gain a common focus and seek complete engagement in the effort to give full support in the Spirit of dedication.
Joy! We are one in the Lord. Let us give to Him our very best!