Still thinking about these words from the Rev. Clementa Pinckney’s funeral, by the Right Reverend John Richard Bryan:
Only God snatches victory out of the jaws of seeming defeat, only God, majors in following Good Friday with Easter Sunday.
Only God is able to take you through the wilderness in order to lead you into the Promised Land.
This week the eyes of the world have been on the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest historically black denomination in the Western hemisphere. Historically, we are the stones the builders rejected. We keep rising.
In the Scriptures, Jonathan says to David, “Your place will be missed at the table.” Clementa Pinckey’s place will be missed at the table, along with the other eight. Others watching it cannot understand why they have not viewed more anger and bitterness as a result of the blow we have taken. Is because who we hang out with. Our secret is in our Lord. Can I call his name? His name is Jesus. Someone should have told the young man if he wanted to start a race war, he came to the wrong place.
We, as a church, would be more than pleased if somebody in this crowd, somebody over that television, somebody over streaming, were to hear the word about our Jesus. Already, Clementa is with the cloud of witnesses. Imagine how he will feel if someone gets saved today. We believe weeping–what is it? what is it?–may endure for a night, but joy, JOY comes in the morning. Since a week ago, we have seen occasion for joy. A mayor who came by our side and would not leave it. A governor who was bold enough to declare it is time to take it down. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Touch the person next to you and tell him, “good morning!” Sister Jennifer, the bishop, reminds all of us that joy comes in the morning.
For that we say to God be the glory.