Darkness falls across the land. In a city way down south, home of tacos and bighorns and ranchers and Stetsons, honest, working folks head for bed. And like that, a gun blazes. Hail of bullets explodes. Five fallen. Five wounds gaping broad. The heart of a nation, it’s torn right asunder. And God in His heaven, He weeps…
It’s Sunday morning. In our small, American town, we’re preparing for church. On Main Street, flags fly, love of country on display. At the Methodist church, bells peal that His Spirit’s in the house. And in America, it’s been a hell of a week.
We sit, expectant, in our seats. Praises have been lifted, tithes and off’rings cheerfully given, and a hush now blankets the room. We feel His presence.
At the front, a gentleman rises, takes his places, begins to speak. And the Word of the Lord rolls in power. His text is Psalm 13. “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?” he begins, deep voice carryin’ the ancient message. Of the shepherd-boy-turned-king, friend of God.
“How long must I wrestle with my thoughts…have sorrow.” And the screen on the wall bears this title: “God is good.”
To my right, Little Brother listens in. To my left, his daddy takes notes, and the man on the platform, he’s teachin’.
He speaks about waitin’ in the Lord’s waitin’ room. He intones once again shepherd’s lament, “Lord, how long?”
“Confess,” he is sayin’, “your feelin’s to God. He’s your Father. Don’t hide ’em from Him.” Girl is listenin’.
“Don’t let the devil determine how you feel. Take thoughts captive.” And then comes this interesting question.
“Do birds trip when they walk?” A brooklet of laughter trickles through the assembly. But he’s makin’ his point, and we’re hearin’. “No!” Filled with passion. “For they’re not made for walkin’. A bird, my friend, is built for flyin’.
“A bird’s not worryin’. He’s lookin’ and singin’!” He’s teachin’ this lesson from Matthew. It’s manna. A bird, he’s sayin’, looks for Father God’s meal for it knows that He’s faithful to give it. Then bird praises; it’s singin’.
He’s wrappin’ it up, now, from Psalm chapter 13. “I will sing the Lord’s praise for He’s been good.”
God is good.
“Declare your trust and joy in God!” Say it out. For God ever and always is good. Then the man at the front, he’s closin’.
But wait. It looks like the Spirit’s not done for somethin’ is happenin’ down front. Another gentleman is risin’ from his seat by the altar, and he’s makin’ his way towards the speaker.
It’s Pastor, skin white like vanilla, and he’s embracing our speaker, skin chocolate.
Black and white. Two brothers.
From all over the sanctuary, men stand, and they gather. And the brother, skin chocolate, he’s prayin’. For our country. For men to be leaders. For the blood to prevail, blood of Christ runnin’ red. Just like ours.
Black and white, blood’s red.
Darkness has fallen across our fair land. It’s the darkness of hatred, of division. But on a warm Sunday morning in the fields of corn, there’s no black and no white. There’s one body. And Light shines.
PC: Pastor Dave Engbrecht