Summary: This Sermon is about celebrating the strength of Godly women in our lives.
"The Women In My Life"
by Reverend A. LaMar Torrence, Pastor of Cross of Life Lutheran Church
“What makes you so strong?” is the title of a book written by Jeremiah Wright. It is the question posed to the black woman. “What makes you so strong, black woman?” He like others wonder how could the black female withstand her fall from the African gardens of Eden to endure 400 years of plantation bondage and to wander through the melee wilderness experiences of America? How is it that after being the mothers of ancient civilizations and the mammies to some of this country’s founders and presidents; after years of being messed on and messed over; after years of being walked on and walked out on; how it is that the pharaohs of this land fail to kill your spirit? What makes you so strong? How is it that you still the bear the wisdom of the Queen of Sheba and the courage of Queen Esther? After all that this world has done to you- the abuse and misuse; after all that black man and white man, have exploited and humiliated; what makes you so strong? How is it that you can do all that you do?
After this country and its culture has taught you to loathe your appearance – your broad hips and thick lips; your short kinky hair and blue black skin –after years of straighten-hot combs, burnt scalps, and no lye-relaxers, after years of bleaching and weaving – what makes you still so strong? What makes you Maya Angelou’s phenomenal woman? What makes you Destiny Child’s Independent Woman? Is it really the sun of your smile, the ride of your breast, the grace of your style? What makes you so strong? How can you rule a nation like Queen Cleopatra; yet, lead your people out of bondage like Harriet Tubman? How can you run fiercely like a Florence Joyner (FLO JO); and yet, walk gracefully like a Halle Berry? You can you dispense justice like a Judge Glenda Hatchett; and yet legislate law like a Maxine Waters? What makes you sing like a Patti Labelle; yet preach the gospel like a Juanita Bynum? What makes you so strong? By what power or by what name do you do what you do? Ted Coppel wants to know? Peter Jennings wants to Know? And, all those with inquiring minds want to know? My sisters what makes you so strong?(Jeremiah Wright, paraphase)
Well, I don’t know about you but I tend to believe that the some of the answers lies within the actions of these ancient women- two midwives, a Levite mother, Egyptian Princess, and a young watchful sister. I believe the key to your strength lies within the circle of wisdom connecting these sisters with diverse backgrounds; yet one common goal-that is to provide an ark of safety so that others can survive. The key to your strength lies in the circle of these five women. Now, these are not superwomen but they are strong women. They don’t have the economic clout of an Oprah Winfrey but they had the faith of the widow of Zarepath. They did not have the political power of a Carolyn Mosley Braun but they could get a prayer through to the heavens like a sister Hannah. They could not sing a lullaby like Whitney Houston but when it came time to testify to the goodness of God, they could dance like Miriam and magnify the Lord like Mary. These women are mothers who knew how to love; They are daughters who knew how to have compassion; They are sisters who knew the right time to intervene. These are women that most of us come from; women with backbone, keepers of the flame; spiritual women who protected and sheltered us through troubling times. These are the women in our text; Women who represent my kind of woman; Woman who are bringing into creation the new millennium man; women working together to save an endangered generation. The key to your strength can be seen in their actions during perilous times.