The Colors of Brotherhood – Red & Yellow, Black & White

Wilbur Washington

READ : Romans 12:9-21   This month you have allowed me to share my social and spiritual roots. This last day of the month I want to call on another spiritual from my people’s psalter. The song they pass on to us today embraces all of God’s people. Let us pause outside of the little meeting house where they worshiped. Listen: Walk together children, Don’t you get weary Talk together, sing together, be happy together There’s a great camp meeting …

Seeking a Hiding Place

Wilbur Washington

READ : Job 23:1-7, 13-15   One of America’s well-known comedians used to say, “Did you ever have a feeling that you wanted to go, and then you had a feeling that you wanted to stay?” That seems to reflect Job’s problem in the 23rd chapter of this book. Oh, that I knew where I might find him [God]. . . He [God] terrifies me . . . If only I could vanish into thick darkness. Job claims he has …

Balm in Gilead

Wilbur Washington

READ : Psalm 30:1-12   As a young student at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, I rebelled at attending required worship but was enthralled by the chapel choir. One of my favorite selections was, “There is a Balm in Gilead, to make the wounded whole . . . to heal the sin sick soul.” I suspect, like many others, I did not have the slightest notion as to what “Balm in Gilead” was about. I was too young or insensitive to …

Ain’t Gwine Study War No More

Wilbur Washington

READ : Isaiah 2:1-8   All too often history is a rehearsal of the wars we’ve fought. Even our gossip is spiced by the domestic violence we’ve observed or imagined. Our children’s entertainment is violence on the screen, either animated or enacted. In our moments of sanity we want peace. Some of the folk from whom one of our spirituals arose must have been tired of violence, also. They sang, “Gonna lay down my sword and shield, down by the …

God Cares for You

Wilbur Washington

READ : Luke 15:1-9   The imagery of the shepherd seeking his lost sheep holds the imaginations of those telling the gospel story. During the revivals led by Dwight L. Moody, the soloist Ira Sankey sang these words: There were ninety and nine that safely lay In the shelter of the fold, But one was out on the hills away, Far off from the gates of gold. Away on the mountains wild and bare, Away from the tender shepherd’s care. …

Live to Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth . . .

Wilbur Washington

READ : Isaiah 6:1-8   Having come to know Christ as Savior and Lord, having tasted the goodness of the gospel, having become immeasurably rich, the child of God has something worth sharing. Sometimes, however, one wants to keep it all for oneself. Then the call comes: “Who’ll be a witness for my Lord?” The call has a strange folk accent. It comes through a people who for all intentions and purposes were no people. It comes with a sometimes …