Summary: This is a Black History Sermon based on the 2003 National Theme The Soul of Black Folks, celebrating the Anniversary of WEB DuBois book by the same title.
Welcome to our celebration of Black History 2003. We take out this time because we believe History is important. When we look at the Biblical Record we see that History plays an important role in the development of God’s Children. History is a source of Faith. From History we can learn what God has done for others and have faith that He is able to do the same thing for us. When Moses tried to give the Children of Israel reasons to trust God, he begins his writings not with the Exodus story but rather with the Historical Book call Genesis. That tells the story of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. History is also a source of Hope. Daniel, while living behind enemy lines, seeks a reason for hope does not search the future but the Historical Writings of Jeremiah. History is a source of Understanding. When the Apostle Paul addresses the need for a Savior, he does not use personal or present sins but connects the need of a Savior back to the first man Adam and the original sin. Finally, History is a source of Vision. The vision of Greater Mt. Moriah is rooted in the historical vision of the church being the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The Vision of Greater Mt. Moriah is grounded upon the vision of God for His Church
Not only is History important generally, but Black History is important particularly. Black History teaches us about the numerous contribution made by individuals of African descent. Contributions in the fields of science, politics, world affairs, and education. Lessons about hard work, faithfulness, and “You can make it if you try”. The history of the Black Church can also teach us a lot. The History ob the Black church can teach us about faith in God in spite of conditions and situations, about the power in prayer, about holding on to God’s unchanging hand, and the amazing grace that God has shown toward us. The Black Church was born in the Slavery, reared in Segregation and Discrimination, now in the prime of its life The Black Church is standing at a crossroads, between ways of its former Oppressor and the way of its foreparents. The choice we make will determine our future. The Black Church is dangerously close to losing its soul.
The national theme for 2003 is “The Souls of Black Folk” based upon the 1903 book by WEB DuBois by the same title. In that book, DuBois makes the statement that the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line . From a purely sociological perspective we can say today, the problem of the Twentieth-First Century is still the problem of the color line. The line has just gotten a little browner. However, from a spiritual perspective, the problem of the Black Church in the Twentieth-First Century is the problem of the love line. For this Black History Month Celebration, we would deviate just a little from the national theme and use the subject for this discourse, “The Soul of the Black Church,” based upon Revelations 2:1-7.
When we examine John’s letter to the church of Ephesus we find some interesting similarities between the church of Ephesus and the Black Church of America. The first thing we notice is that the Lord says, “I know thy Works, and labors and patience.” We can be assured that God sees and knows the works and efforts extended by the Black Church. The Lord watches over the Black Church. He takes note of our works of gratitude. The Lord sees how we work not in order to gain salvation but out of thankfulness for the free gift of salvation. The Lord knows that The Black Church have worked long hours under some of the most difficult situations. He knows our work of faith, our labor of love, and our patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Black Church has been busy working hard in the areas of Evangelism – Spreading the Gospel message to generations after generations. In the area of Mission – by visiting the sick and shut in. By offering Religious Instructions about Love, Forgiveness, Grace and Mercy. The Black Church have told and Retold the Old, Old story about God’s love for Humanity. The Black Church have been busy in Civil Matters such as the Abolishment of Slavery, The Civil Rights movement. The Black Church have organized around Voting Rights and Human Rights, making their members concern and active.
The Black Church have worked hard in the areas of Education, teaching their young to read and by offering affordable Child Care. The Black Church has worked in Personal and Communitial Development. Developing Faith in times of sickness and death, and Patience in times of Injustices. The Black Church has nurtured marriages, and offered spiritual healing in the times of divorce. The Black Church has been busy working hard training leaders and giving people much need opportunities to develop skills and talents. The Black Church can rest in the assurance that the Lord sees and knows our works.