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The Rev. Dr. Ozzie E. Smith, Jr. The Rev. Dr. Ozzie E. Smith, Jr.

The Rev. Dr. Ozzie E. Smith, Jr., is pastor of Covenant United Church of Christ, South Holland, IL. He is also a trustee of the Alliance for Christian Media.

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Covenant United Church of Christ, South Holland, IL


Dr. Ozzie Smith on "The Church's Hope"

May 27, 2009

The Rev. Dr. Ozzie E. Smith offers a reflection on this week's Day1 sermon, "The Church's Hope" by the Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson:

Amen Rev. Anderson! Thanks for serving up a fresh dose of hope for those of us who may have become weary in trying to do good. I am encouraged by this message as it seems that we live in skeptical times of new and improved conventional wisdom. It is refreshing to hear God's covenantal word in the midst of artful dodging relativism. As one poet said, "Truth crushed to the earth will rise again!" We are empowered by the Advocate to do the work of hope among in this milieu. We are called to speak truth to slick skepticism and conspiracy-bred cinematography. We live in a time when the high places of our own making have tumbled as do most houses of clay cards. Yet, Jesus prayed that we not be removed from this world, but protected from the evil one wandering around in it.

The hope of the church is that it has a power not regulated by the government but sent by God. The Advocate does not need windmills--it is the wind beneath our wings. It glows on the hillsides of Midian to expose the madness of maniacal men. It parts the Red Seas of irreverence, refuses to be nailed down, while causing the first rolling stone. It reaches the highest mountain and lowest valley without rollover minutes or towers.

The church's hope is that it is still here! One writer in Lectionary Homiletics suggests that the reason the church still exists is because God has been looking after it. Our human finiteness may limit the efficacy of our efforts, but the Advocate causes our little to become much in the hope of things not yet seen. Thanks Rev. Anderson for reminding us that it ain't over yet and that faith hooked-up to the Advocate has a way of lifting and stirring the imaginations of men and women that God is not through with us yet!

Thanks Day1 for the lift!

--Ozzie Smith

UPDATE: From the Rev. Billy Cox:

Reading "The Church's Hope", and frequently reminding Christians that we are the chosen ones to pass this hope along, The Reverend Dr. Fred R. Anderson, in his sermon, certainly lays a heavy load upon the mind of each of us. But, I guess this is where the load should be squarely placed. Collectively to be reminded this is our given assignment and to further be reminded that individually we are part of the whole, is enough to cause one to lose sleepless nights, wondering if he or she is holding up their end of the load. Of course, this is why we desperately need to lean upon the Holy Spirit for direction and the incentive to do our part. Furthermore, this is why we desperately need one another for the building of a loving and caring fellowship, the development of a real community of Christians, together doing our best to bring hope and change to a sometime hopeless situation. More is better.
 
To be chosen as a further echo of the voice from an early Upper Room, is an awesome assignment. Who can really live up to this calling? We can only try. Then, there are those persons of other faith religions who feel equally chosen to bring hope and change to a needy world. This is why it is imperative that as Christians we seek to build a bridge of understanding and team work with all these others, where possible, mutually together working for the common good of all who would listen to our message of hope.
 
Thanks friends at Day1. Your messages of hope make a difference.
 
--Billy Cox


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