The Rev. Dr. Ozzie Smith offers a response to this week's Day1 sermon by the Rev. Sarah Shelton, "A Daughter's Faith."
Amen, Rev. Shelton! Bleeding and believing stuck with me in this message. Bleeding and knowing that you are bleeding can make us reach for the hem of Jesus. Believing that there is healing in the reaching to touch the hem of him that heals is radical faith that steps outside of the box of culture, convention, and tradition. When I noticed that Rev. Shelton is pastor of Baptist Church of the Covenant in Birmingham, I was reminded of former president Jimmy Carter's book. Carter told the story of how church stepped outside of the rigidity of denominational dogma in order to touch Jesus' hem. Rev. Shelton is preaching proof of that reaching and healing.
Too often we are bound by the "sometimes" narrow and stingy whispers of the knowing herd. Those "knowing whispers" have caused so much pain and bleeding. Those "knowing" whispers often miss the healings--they cannot seem to get past the people Jesus chooses to heal and hang out with. How awesome it must have been for Rev. Shelton to read/eavesdrop on a letter addressed to, but editorialized by her late pastor father. That seems akin to what Jesus heard during his baptism. She might have also heard, "This is my daughter in whom I am well pleased!" That hearing allowed Jesus to endure the wilderness and wonderings of his critics. I am certain her father's statement has and will empower Pastor Shelton to do the same. What an endorsement and affirmation to read this many years later!
Thanks, Rev. Shelton, for sharing the faith of so many daughters and yourself. Thanks Day1 for the lift!