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Sunday, July 10, 2011

On the Move

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.- Mark 1:1 (NKJV)

The Gospel of Mark clearly opens with the words that explain that it is about "the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." The book is about Jesus.  In fact, as Jesus embarks on His earthly ministry by the Sea of Galilee, His words echo this opening verse: Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” The Gospel of Mark is about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

When we read the Gospel of Mark, we see the Lord on the move and going to and fro as He interacts with mankind.  It is an account of the Almighty touching the flesh and spirits of man.  It offers a view of Jesus in communion with His fellow man, publicans, lepers, the blind, and countless others.

When He started His ministry, He was on the move.
When He called the fishermen to become fishers of men, He was on the move.
When He taught and touched others, He was on the move.
The Gospel of Mark shows us Jesus Christ as a man on the move.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Celebrations for the Black Church

Typically, I don't get into the concept or mindset of church being a "Black thing." I do believe that there are some celebrations that can cause the African American churches throughout the United States to celebrate its own culture and heritage.  here is a list of a few:
  • Juneteenth: A Celebration of FreedomJuneteenth: This is the celebration that recognizes the freedom of enslaved Africans that has the history and lore of word reaching those in Texas some time around or before June 18th or 19th of what went into effect in January of the same year.  Thus, we have Juneteenth.
  • July 4th: This Independence Day celebration has been something where African American churches have usually had fellowships and picnics centered around barbecue and baking contests as well as sack races and other activities like baseball, basketball or the. Electric Slide
  • HBCU Day:  Having attended an HBCU, I am convinced that the African American church can spend at least one weekend to celebrate the historical and social importance of Black colleges like Tuskegee, Morehouse, Howard, Wilberforce, Morris Brown, and others.  Host a college fair on Saturday and invite alumni to wear their alma mater on that Sunday.
  • Summer Service Days: Host a set of scheduled service days where the congregation goes out into the community and conducts hands-on service such as beach or block clean-ups, food drives, brush removal, senior dance or fitness class, or tutoring for summer school students at a local elementary or middle school.
These are just a few ideas that may help the African American church see itself as something beyond the norm and how to celebrate during what is called the "summer slump."