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He Was Empowered

June 16, 2018

He needed help.

He had been up front of the church, wearing a white robe and stooped over with both age and miles. He needed help getting up and down from his seat. When it was time for him to make his way to the pulpit, things got precarious, even as he leaned on the host pastor’s arm.

But THEN he was in place at the pulpit, and it was as if the lights had suddenly come on in the sanctuary. Or maybe the room itself went electric.

[Note: Friend, colleague, and unappointed mentor, The Rev. Dr. R. Paul Sims, died Sunday, June 3rd. His service was Monday, June 11, and it was a powerful combination of liturgical correctness and, well, we had church. Several elements of from that time bear repeating here. For example:]

Suddenly Rev. John R. Curtis, Jr. no longer seemed enfeebled!

In a voice both authoritative and compassionate, he prefaced his reading of Jeremiah 29:11-13 by saying, “Listen carefully now to these words.”

We did.

Then before reading Psalm 37:4,5 he invited us to “Hear these precious words from the Book of Psalms.”

And we did. I noticed my eyes developing leaks as he read, “Take delight in the Lord, and God will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in God.”

Then he looked at us a third time and said, “For your hearing, and your doing: the Word of God.”

I was ready to jump up and yell Amen.

For real.



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