Lord Have Mercy!

Wilbur Washington

READ : Luke 18:1-14   Among virtues of the Christian life that are unpopular, humility is near the top of the list. Not thinking more highly of oneself than one ought flies in the face of the reigning culture which teaches that we must compare ourselves with others. Many teachings on self-worth depend on looking at others. “I am as good as . . . I am better than . . . I am a pretty good dad when you …

Time, Eternity and the Crucifixion

Wilbur Washington

READ : Psalm 22:1-11   Most of us have sung the song, or at least heard it: “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” At first, it seems like an absurd question. How could we have been there? That was more than nineteen hundred and fifty years ago. But wait, perhaps we are looking at the wrong calendar. If the psalmist, centuries before the event, could provide Jesus with lines to speak, we who live later can be involved …

Let Us Cheer the Weary Traveler

Wilbur Washington

READ : Galatians 6:1-10   When I was in Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, there was a comfortable room set aside for persons who were on religious missions. This weary traveler went into that room. I was greeted warmly and treated kindly. The first leg of my trip to visit Reformed Church missionaries in Kenya was completed. It was pleasant to be befriended in a foreign city. One hundred and fifty years ago there were no traveling amenities for those who …

“I’ve Been ‘Buked”

Wilbur Washington

READ : Matthew 5:1-11   A good way to describe a Christian is a person with a tough skin and a tender heart. That insight comes from Jesus’ great sermon, “Blessed are you when people revile you, and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you FALSELY . . . .” No room for thin-skinned, easily hurt persons here. It takes toughness to accept rejection even when it’s deserved, but it’s worse when someone deliberately lies about you. …

He Cares for His Own

Wilbur Washington

READ : Psalm 50:1-15 I can hear her now. It was a voice which Arturo Toscanini said occurs once in a century. She sang in the leading concert halls and major royal courts of the world. Hers was a God-given talent which many fellow Americans refused to accept because she came from the offspring of slaves. But Easter Sunday morning 1939, she performed as guest of the National Park Service under the prodding of Eleanor Roosevelt. When the Daughters of …

We Have a Champion

Wilbur Washington

READ : 1 Thessalonians 4:9-18   June 19, 1936 was one of the most disappointing of days for African Americans. What little racial self-esteem we could muster in those days was being carried by our rugged but gentle gladiator, Joe Louis, contender for the heavyweight championship of the world, He was our pride and joy. On this summer day, he faced and was defeated by Nazi Germany’s Max Schmeling. Hitler’s theory of Aryan supremacy was seemingly vindicated. But Joe Louis …