A Day To Remember
As many of us know, today is inauguration day for the 46th President of the United States of America. Today, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn into office. Many of you will be tuning in to watch via television, internet, radio or other mediums of communication.
I remember where I was four years ago when President Trump was sworn in. I was having lunch at Moe's Southwest Grill, a Mexican restaurant, on Griffith Road. As I was sitting in my booth, I was thinking of how different the next four years would be after eight years with President Obama. My thoughts were prophetic. It has been quite a four years.
And, you know what, through it all, I have been constantly reminded of the power of prayer.
This nation seems to have gone into a panic of division around various issues. The issues are real. The responses have been revealing.
As I was preparing to connect with you, two things came to my mind - a scripture and a song.
First, I will deal with the scripture. The man named Saul who we would come to know as the Apostle Paul was educated, enlightened, intelligent, influential, powerful and...wrong. He was wrong about our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. And, he was wrong about those who followed Jesus the Christ.
God dealt with him on the road to Damascus. He gave him the gift; yes, it was a gift, of physical blindness. The physical blindness was symbolic of Saul's spiritual blindness that had to be removed so that he, as Paul, could be used by the Lord instead of against the Lord. For all that Saul had going for him, he was still blind.
I encourage you to read Acts 9 for the full story.
I want you to focus on the fact that when he met Jesus for himself, Saul's life was changed and Paul's life began. That day was a day to remember.
The impact of that day was such that Saul/Paul went from persecuting Christians to proclaiming Christ. Acts 9:20-22 tells us, "and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, 'He is the Son of God.' All who heard him were amazed and said, 'Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem among those who invoked this name? And has he not come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priest?' Saul became increasingly more powerful and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Messiah."
Beloved, Saul/Paul became a world changer when he got into right relationship with the one who created the world.
In the midst of his transformation, Jesus revealed to Ananias, a follower of Jesus, that blind Saul was on his way to see him. Ananias was rightly afraid. Jesus comforted him. And, Jesus told him something about Saul, that Saul was doing, at the time that Ananias was panicking. In Acts 9:11, Jesus said, "At this moment he (Saul) is praying."
At the most pivotal moment in Saul's life, he was praying.
Beloved, the power of prayer is the power to connect with the Most High God in a way that eclipses all other relationships and points of connection. If you want to experience the power of God in your life, you need to pray.
Why? Let me respond with the song, "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic". Julia Ward Howe, a White abolitionist, a proponent for the ending of slavery, wrote the lyrics to this song in 1861. It was a rallying cry for the Union army against the Confederate army. It was a rallying cry for Christian churches. It was a rallying cry used by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his iconic "I Have A Dream" speech.
The first verse and chorus,
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,He has loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift swordHis truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!His truth is marching on.
Beloved, the word of God is the truth-bearing two-edged sword that discerns the lie from the truth and gives hope in embracing the truth that will set us free.
It is His truth that Ward referenced in this song.
As dark as some may see the days of President Trump as having been and as some have prayed for another direction for our nation, a new day is upon us. It is a day to remember.
It is a day to pray...as every day is a day to pray.
As Saul/Paul had to pray when confronted with the truth of how blind he had truly been and it set him on a life-long truth-seeking and truth-telling life, may we all be set on the same path.
And, in doing so, we, the church, individually and collectively, may be like Saul/Paul, growing in power and confounding those around us as we proclaim and prove that Jesus is the Christ, not just for the Jews but for the whole world.
As we transition the power of the presidency from one man to another man, let this day, a day to remember, also be a day that you pray, "Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on."
My beloved truth-seekers and truth-tellers, we will not have Noonday prayer today in respect of giving all the opportunity to observe the inauguration ceremony. Remember this day and pray.
My beloved truth-seekers and truth-tellers, we will have our radio/internet broadcast at 3pm on The Light radio station. Tune in if you can and invite others to do so. Remember this day and pray.
My beloved truth-seekers and truth-tellers, we have church conference packets for you and HOPE Wednesday books for you to be immersed in the ongoings and teachings of this great, wonderful, growing church family. Connect and collect. Remember this day and pray.
My beloved truth-seekers and truth-tellers, we will have part four of our sermon series, "2021 - The Year Of Restoration", on Sunday. Make sure you are with us and invite someone else to be with us. Remember this day and pray.
And, my beloved truth-seekers and truth-tellers, remember that God loves you and I love you too. Remember this day and pray.