Friday, June 08, 2007

Festival of Homiletics Reflections: Bishop Vashti McKenzie

OK, back to the Festival reflections. I promise, only three or four more to go. I thought about combining posts, but these preachers were just too good not to get their own post in most cases! So hang in there with me.

Bishop Vashti Murphey McKenzie
preached on Friday morning. As an aside, let me just mention that I love the name Vashti. To me, naming your child Vashti means that you know she is going to stand up for who she is and what she believes.

The Bishop preached on Psalm 51, Hebrews (the 'by faith' text), in particular 11:7 – “By Faith Known.” She talked about the miners that had been trapped in PA. The rescuers were tapping on the pipes to communicate with those trapped. Those trapped were tapping – “Is their any hope?”

What is the answer tapped? The answer tapped to us is “What are you willing to believe God for?” “When [some hard situation occurs], what are you willing to believe God for?” “[Name a bible figure] wanted to believe God for [name a promise of God.]” “And God did it.” God deals with us on a need to know basis. We need faith to know how we’ll answer the question. You think you have it hard? I have a story for you. By faith [God did ______ for Bible figure].

Noah – they wanted to hear something different than what he was preaching. What do we do when God gives us something to preach and the people refuse to listen? God gave Noah a word to preach, and Noah believed it. Noah believed that things could get better, that God could really save them. Practice what you preach, not preach what people practice. Which are we doing? Do you believe [________]? Then leave here and preach it, by faith.

Take God at God’s word. Your natural eye will tell you it is really bad, but your spiritual eye will tell you God is working it out. Human participation of divine intervention.

Boat cometh after work cometh. One thing to build a boat, another thing to build a boat on dry land with no mist, no water, no clouds, etc. For 120 years! We're to be living on God’s timetable and not on ours, working until God works it out.

We need a “I’m ____, They’re _____, but God is ______” mentality. (Ok, that made a lot of sense in the context of her sermon, but less clear just reading this part of the notes. Hope you get an idea!)

The Bishop was an excellent and energetic preacher. To come: William Willimon, Grace Imathiu, and Sweet Honey in the Rock...
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