|Beams of Heaven as I Go||Rev. Pia Diggs||February 27, 2022||Watch|
In our final week of this focus on the hymns of Rev. Charles Tindley, our guest preacher, Rev. Pia Diggs, looks at the hymn, “Beams of Heaven as I Go.” The beams of heaven are witnessed in God offering structure and stability in our lives, akin to the physical beams that support the church building. And the beams of heaven, God’s radiance shining down, offer us light to our path and the vision of hope for the future.
|Nothing Between||Kimberly Young||February 20, 2022||Watch|
Guest preacher: Kimberly Young. In the hymn “Nothing Between,” by Rev. Charles A. Tindley, the lyrics invite us to consider a life of faith where nothing – read that again, NOTHING – stands between us and the love of God in Jesus Christ. What would life look like if nothing (i.e. money, privilege, immigration status, race, gender identity, etc.) stood between us and God’s love? What would life look like if nothing (i.e. prejudice, racism, xenophobia, sexism, classism, etc.) stood between us and God’s love? The invitation of the hymn is to let NOTHING stand between us and a life and faithfulness to Jesus Christ.
|We’ll Understand It Better By and By||Rev. Dr. James G. Daniely||February 13, 2022||Watch|
As a child in S.C., I remember Hurricane Gracie . The sky was very dark, the wind howled, trees could be heard breaking, and the rain was torrential. Those things combined to make me very frightened. I was alone at the house, or so I think, but a neighbor knew this and came across the street to check on me. Her words to me were ” Be not afraid, it’s in God’s hands”. Now why she thought that would be calming to an eight-year-old, I don’t know but after uttering those words she went home. So, when Tindley says, “Though the night is dark it won’t be very long. Thanks be to God, the morning light appears, And the storm is passing over, Hallelujah”, I feel like I have lived through it.
|Leave it There||Rev. Thomas G. James||February 6, 2022||Watch|
Tindley’s hymns offer similar petitions to the Psalms. The scriptures not only invite our voicing of frustration and lament to God, in the Psalms, we are given the words to use! Whether praying in anger toward a friend, a heart of hate toward the other, or the need for food and housing, we can be assured, we can lay our concerns before the Lord and “Leave it There.”
|We Shall Overcome||Rev. Dr. James G. DanielyRev. Thomas G. James||January 30, 2022||Watch|
Pastors James Daniely (Roberts Memorial UMC) and Thomas James (WSUMC) join together in the pulpit to look at the invitation of the song “We Shall Overcome.” What are we being asked to overcome? By looking at the history of our churches, and the invitation of God’s Word in 1 John 5, we see the call to overcome our unbelief. For true faith not only invites a greater witness of God’s love in relationship with our neighbor, it demands it. Anything less than offering true love to God and neighbor makes a liar out of God, and challenges our claim to faithfulness.
|Stand by Me||Rev. Thomas G. James||January 23, 2022||Watch|
In his hymn “Stand by Me,” the Rev. Dr. Charles A. Tinley offers a reminder of the promise and invitation to God that through the hardest times of life, God will be there to be by our side. As referenced with Paul and Silas, even when the hardship comes from the brute force of nationalism using unjust incarceration because of the work of salvation in the community, God will be by our side. In the face of persecution, stand by me.