Rev. Jonathan Newton, Asst. Pastor
Metropolitan AME Church, Washington, DC
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Genesis 18: 1-15 NIV Bible Translation
Every Sunday morning, before the worship service starts, Brother Terry Johnson and his team perform a “microphone or mic-check”. It happens well before the service starts. Most of you don’t see it because you arrive well AFTER the service starts. The microphone check is a ministry in and of itself, because the microphones are the method through which the anointed word of God’s is delivered, through the choir, the testimonies, the preacher.
As Christians, we are all microphone devices that God uses to transmit the “Good News” about Jesus Christ around the world. We are anointed with gifts, and he uses these gifts to glorify Him and to bless others. Every now and then, God performs a spiritual microphone check to determine whether we are really using our gifts for His glory and to bless others. Like the audio team, once in a while God smacks the microphone – our work – to make sure it is working properly.
The scripture text is an example of a “mic check.” When God delivered the news that Sarah and Abraham would bear a child, at first, Sarah laughed. But the Lord was not amused and questioned why she laughed. Prior to that visit, the Lord told Abraham he would be father of nations. Because of his age Abraham laughed – in fact he fell on his face laughing (Genesis 17:17). But God assured him, and Abraham believed. However, Abraham did not share that news with Sarah.
1. Share the blessing because it is not just for you. The message was not just for Abraham; Abraham was responsible for delivering God’s word to everyone in the household. When we don’t share our blessings, when we don’t speak up, our loved ones suffer. Sarah was barren, it was the source of shame and guilt and depression back in those times for a woman not to be able to bear a son for her husband. Abraham was so self-absorbed that he didn’t properly convey to her that she could trust in God’s promises. God didn’t bless you so you could get another house or car or watch. God didn’t give to us so we could say: “I’ve got mine.”
2. Make sure you don’t distort the message. God gave Abraham a microphone check because Abraham only told Sarah half of the message. He put his wife out there. You have to make sure that you don’t distort message that God is delivering through you; sometimes we pretend that we – not God – are the source of the blessing. In his book “Race Rules,” Michael Eric Dyson has a chapter titled “We never were what we used to be” in which he discusses “the politics of nostalgia.” We make the past seem better than it was. Even in the “good old days” we had problems. In the 80’s we had crack cocaine; in the 70’s we had long gas lines and an economy in shambles; in the 60’s – the so-called “black power” era, churches were bombed, and little girls were killed; in the 50’s, we had segregated schools; in the 20’s and 30’s the Great Depression. Every era had its issues; only God was consistent. If we deny God as the source of the blessing, we will experience what the audio people call “feedback.” Feedback is the loud noise that we hear when the microphone is too close to the speaker. We create that kind of feedback when God has done something but we claim credit for it. We need to kill the feedback.
3. Trust God while you still have options. When we experience challenges, we call on anyone else but God. We don’t call on God until we are in the depths of foreclosure, or incarceration, or worse; then we call on God. Sarah doubted because she wasn’t told about God’s goodness. She laughed because she doubted. It is time for the people of God to go back to SPEAKING about God. Because when God wins, the entire community is strengthened!
- Sermon Notes: Survival Techniques When Your Well Runs Dry
- Sermon Notes: Living Above Transition and Change
- Sermon Notes: God’s Window for a Broken World
- Sermon Notes: I Just Can’t Help Myself!
- Sermon Notes: Live a Grateful Life
Tags: Rev. Jonathan Newton, Rev. Jonathan V. Newton