For this week’s blog, I wish to pay tribute to the entire 28 days of February 2019 in celebration of Black History Month. The title and theme was inspired by one of Dr. Martin Luther King’s favorite quotes. But the meat and potatoes of the body of this blog is actually a message I received from God when I sought his wisdom, understanding and knowledge as I prepared to conduct a workshop for a group of women at my church in 1983.
Many of these ladies were wives of pastors, assistant ministers, deacons, trustees, elders, and other male officials of the church. Privately, the women had often shared with me how they were at a loss on how to communicate with their spouses in certain circumstances. For example, should their spouse be interrupted or disturbed if their office door was closed. Or if dinner was ready. Or if an unannounced visitor showed up on their door step and wanted an audience with their husband, should they be permitted to do so if he was in seclusion. Honestly, one wife even confided in me that she wanted another child but was afraid to discuss the subject with her highly successful husband in the ministry. She felt that a ‘new addition’ would somehow hinder his advancement and place additional demands on him and his quiet time ‘with the Lord’.
As you can imagine, my preparation for the workshop message/activities for this seminar would be daunting. So my first position on this was to go to God in prayer and fasting. Don’t laugh…but the first thing I heard from heaven was the title for the workshop. The Lord said, here’s what you call it; “What every housewife wants to know about her role as a ‘helpmate’ but is afraid to ask.”
How cleaver I thought. God, you’re the Greatest…What’s next?
His divine response (in so many words) was for me to remind the ladies just how he communicates to us when we don’t wont to be bothered: through action, through scriptures and by the incorporation of the ritual for the Lord’s Supper. God even gave me my Scripture verse from Hebrews 13:8: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever.” Just as the Father visually communicated to the Hebrew children in the wilderness, He is visually speaking to the wives (and us) today and also for posterity .
And that’s where Dr. King’s famous quote comes in (with a few revisions) as it mirrors and affirms Scripture: “[Ladies,] Whatever your life’s work, do it well. A [wo] man should do [her] his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.”
So, I reminded the ladies of the following 3 things:
1. How God Communicated Yesterday
In the olden days, God communicated with the Children of Israel by a cloud. They all saw it, they all followed it, and they all knew it was God! (Exodus 13:21)
Another way God communicated with them was to supply their groceries. He quenched their thirst with cool water from the rocks. He fed them quail meat that dropped from the sky. He gave them a freshly baked loaf of bread every morning. (Duet. 8:15-16; Exodus 176:8)
(So, a workshop activity could be for the women to brain storm ways to be creative to subtly get their messages across to their spouses.)
2. How God Communicates Today
Now, today, God still openly and visually communicates with us. How? He has written us a Love Letter…the Holy Bible…telling us all about his Son, Jesus, and extending an invitation to dine and to celebrate with Him. He wrote the Letters for posterity…for all those who were not there. Take eat, ye, all of it.
In other words, God wanted to speak TRUTH to the powerless…Us Mortals!
He instructed us that after we have read the Letters, digested the Letters, believe in the Letters, and obey the Letters, that we perform a spiritual ritual on a periodic basis. As often as you do this…
Namely, he asked us to be fed by taking the Cup and when we drink from it to remember the blood his Son shed and allow this demonstration to be used to reflect His death and His resurrection. In our thought process (by thinking on these things) we are in communication with God. (Sometimes, speaking audibly is overrated.)
He further asked us to be fed by taking the Bread, break it and eat it. The Bread, as we know, represents Jesus’ body. We ask ourselves (or we should think about) what does Jesus’ body represent (not withstanding the Church): Of course, the answer is FREEDOM!!! Freedom from sickness; freedom from sin; freedom from strife, freedom from financial problems; freedom from hatred; freedom from lustfulness; freedom from fear; freedom from want; etc.
So we eat the Bread with great expectation of overcoming our infirmities both in the home and in our churches, just like Jesus. And we drink the Cup in anticipation of dying (resting, sleeping) and being raised up again eternally unto our Heavenly Father, just like Jesus.
(The conference activity was for the ladies to take a very soiled penny, some Q-tips and a dollop of silver polish and slowly clean only the ‘Lincoln head’ side of the penny. The ladies were instructed to pretend that it was their own head image on the penny being cleansed by Jesus. They were to realize that they were in Good Hands of the Almighty. The other soiled side of the penny represented their past life, which they were forbade to polish.)
3. How God Communicates With Tomorrow
Jesus communicates His future actions (judgements) towards us based on our present knowledge, discernment and attitudes as partakers of Holy Communion. (See 1 Corinthians 11:26-31 below.)
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
At this point, I would like to give you an example of how I would counsel one of the housewives mentioned above especially if she harbored any resentment towards her husband’s desire for long periods of solitude. More specifically, if the housewife’s query to me would be…”Should I not partake of the Supper when I’m not feeling right towards someone, lest damnation come upon me.”
Based on my own experience, one interpretation revealed to me by the Holy Spirit was to ‘partake’, because I had confessed that I discerned and believed that by Christ’s stripes (His broken body [Bread] and spilled blood [Wine]), I am healed and Christ will set everything else in order when He comes (a future event). The wife would then have to search her own soul and measure of faith.
So in closing, we should all live the best life we can as it is based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. We should participate often in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper as a reminder of the price freely paid for our salvation. It also behooves us to always abide in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The rest, He will set in order when He comes.
(The final workshop activity was to serve The Lord’s Supper and to allow each attendant an opportunity to share a short confession of their faith, if they so desired. By that time, the Holy Spirit was alive and well…in the atmosphere! HALLELUJAH!!!)
Scripture Lesson: Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. John 15:4-6
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