God bless you.
Happy birthday, Jesus, and Merry Christmas to everybody else.
I feel like having church, if you don't mind. I said I feel like having church John
Powers, Marcia Starks, Pastor Charles Jenkins, Pastor Clay Evans, Maria, Donna,
George, Connie, Posey, the Kizart brothers, Veryuncye, Gwen Murphy, Carole, Betty,
Eugene McKinney, Deacon Erwin Dabney, Sister Veola Broyles, Sister Beverly Rogers,
Rev. Darrell Jackson, Rev. Joseph Jackson, Rev. DeVille, Rev. Hardy and the rest of
Thank you Jesus!!!!!!
Joy to the world because the Lord is come!!!!
Hark the heralded angels sing, "Glory to the new-born king. Peace on earth and
mercy mild. God and sinner reconciled."
In case some of y'all just tuned in, here is late-breaking news from heaven's anchor
desk with the prophet Isaiah reporting in the field of Old Testament antiquity: "For unto us
a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder:
and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting
Father, the Prince of Peace."
It's been some 2,740 years since my fellow news reporter Isaiah filed this
report. And just as it was shouting news then, it's "sho nuff" is shouting news today. And
I'm mighty glad about it. Are you?
This is my 66th Christmas. 'Tis the season to be jolly, to be sure. Yes, this is the
happiest time of the year. Colorful lights, smiling faces, jingle bells, beautiful sacred and
secular decorations and laughter fill the air.
But Christmas will not give my cross or your cross the day off. Sickness, sadness
still abound all around town to make us fill down and wear a frown. But no cross, no
Even when King Jesus was finally born of the virgin Mary, sired by God through
the Holy Ghost, who had sacred sex with the virgin Mary; hear me now, born He was in
Bethlehem, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger because there was no
room for Him in the inn.
That's why one day a songwriter took a pen and wrote these lyrics: "Away in a
manger, no crib for a day, the little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head. The stars in the
bright sky looked down where He lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay."
Even then, when sin got wind of God's grace coming 'round the bend, there sat
upon Israel's throne, a psychotic, neurotic, manic depressive, schizophrenic king named
Herold, who tried to kill the sweet little baby Jesus. And while heaven air-lifted Jesus
and His family out of Bethlehem and placed them in a witness-protection program in
Egypt, Israel's previous home of bondage, Herold had his police, his highway patrol, his
FBI, CIA and secret service agents of that day engage in an infanticidal sweep of the holy
land, killing babies two years old and younger, in an effort to crush Christ in His cradle.
The New Testament writer Matthew reported, "In Rama, was there a voice heard,
lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and
would not be comforted, because they are not." Yes, mothers had babies ripped from
their hugging arms and slaughtered like cattle. This was an abomination of extreme,
obscene atrocity. I wouldn't be surprised this treacherous tragedy broke up choir
practice in heaven. I wouldn't be surprised if the four and twenty elders dropped a tear
or two. Yes, there was limited joy to the world and limited silent night for the first
I said, listen!
Can't you hear those poor mothers screaming?
Can't you hear those ear-screeching screams? Screaming like my mama screamed
when she got the news one morning that her sister Senia Bell Crump had died.
Screaming like my daddy screamed when my mother died of blood poisoning and a racist
health care system at age 42 in Lyon, Miss.
I wonder if anybody else feels like screaming right now. Ain't no harm to scream
sometimes. Even I find relief in screaming. Sometimes when I'm all by myself, I scream.
I scream not just screams of sadness but sometimes I scream screams of gladness
because earth has no sorrow that heaven can not heal.
What a cross that was that Jesus had to bear early with that price placed on His
heads and thousands of babies ending up dead in His stead. But whereas others died
for King Jesus in the beginning, King Jesus turned right around and died for us in the
Yes, we know about the Easter cross. We know about how Jesus eventually died
for our sins on that old rugged cross on Calvary's hill far away. We know about how He
surrendered Himself to be wounded for our transgressions, to be bruised for our iniquity
and to have the chasetisement of our peace striped upon His blistered back and His
nail-pierced hands, arms and feet. We know about all that.
But after He died that Friday evening and stayed in the grave Friday night,
Saturday and Saturday night, well, right early Sunday morning, right about the crack
of dawn, He gave the roosters the morning off, and woke up the world by Himself
through His resurrection from the dead.
Thus, He, for whom there was no motel room in Bethlehem's INN, made mercy
room for us in the heavenly END.
That was the miracle of the Easter cross.
Well, I feel like preachin', if you don't mind.
Just as there would be an Easter cross, there was and still is a Christmas cross.
King Jesus was born in the midst of mass misery.
Born in a time of terrible turmoil.
Born in a world of wickedness.
Born on the wrong side of the tracks and the downside of the demographics.
Born at a time when His earthly mama, the virgin Mary, and her husband, were
turned down by every hotel and motel they came across.......until.....hallelujah!.......one
anonymous innkeeper couldn't take it anymore. He just gave in to his compassionate
He must have said something like this: "I'm sorry, y'all. I know y'all's tired and I know
this young lady is in labor. As y'all know, y'all didn't make any reservations and this, being
Passover, is our busiest time of the year. There have been no cancellations and we have
hundreds of other people on the waiting list. I wish I could give y'all a nice clean room.
But we don't have any. What I can do--and please don't get mad at me--what I can
do is give y'all a stall in the stable among the donkeys and the mules, the sheep and
the cows. It's nasty and dirty in there. But that's all I got. It's cold and stinky in there. But
that's all I got. If you want it, you can have it. That's the best that I can do."
Well, that was a shame. But the divinity of king Jesus was too supreme to be
discounted, demeaned or devalued by poverty, and man's petty misprioritizing. It didn't
matter where He was born. What mattered was THAT He was born. And although His
birth triggered the mass murder of innocent babies, He was born anyway and thus
survived the conspiracy of evil men trying to do Him in.
At this Christmas time, I'm glad that the Spirit of the Lord has moved through U.S.
senators to approve President Obama's health care reform. What this means is that
some 50 million Americans are closer to enjoyin a more merry Christmas. Because of this
legislation, much of a mighty cross has been lifted off the backs of 50 million Americans
who do not have health insurance.
This great cross, this tragic predicament, along with the loss of jobs that included
affordable group health plans, has cost millions their savings, their cars, their homes,
their marriages, their peace of mind, their health and, for many, their lives.
I still can't understand how so many ruthless Republicans opposed this
legislation that would help millions of their own voters. I can't understand how millions
of Americans could be so selfish and so insensitive and so un-loving so as to oppose
the rescue of legions of their less-fortunate fellow Americans.
But thank God that at this Christmastide, millions of Americans will now receive the
welcomed present of health insurance. This gives me another reason to sing "Joy to the
As a patient in my second year of battling cancer and a bad heart, I can sympathize
with these people because my family and I would have been ruined if I did not have
affordable medical insurance and a union contract that affords me time to seek and
receive appropriate medical care.
My sickness remains a cross of sorts. But every day that finds me still alive and
fighting for wholeness of health is a miracle. And in due season, when God gets ready, He
will heal me completely of my sicknesses and their symptoms.
From a material and physical standpoint, this health care package is the best
massive Christmas present that Americans could receive. And we ought to thank and
praise God for that.
Once again, happy birthday Jesus, and Merry Christmas to everybody else.
God bless you.