Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Morning Praise: Shirley Ceasar

Dr. Jesse Lee Foster, the late pastor of Hamilton Park First Baptist Church, would sometimes talk to other senior pastors in my presence when I was a young preacher. Every now and then he would stop and say, "You're too young to know anything about this..." Although I wouldn't dare show it, boy was I offended! I was 20-22 years old at that time. What did he mean I was 'too young'. 

Of course in the intervening years I found out exactly what he meant. Having gone through the birth and deaths of children, grandparents, best friends; having pastored a church and gone through the successes and failures associated with that; having experienced illness and suffering of all kinds; in my work with the poor and underserved there was much that he was saying that I didn't understand!

Above all, I've learned the inestimable value and comfort of belonging to God. These simple songs of the church, so well known and venerated mean much more to me now than when I was young - even a young preacher. That's because I've learned the inestimable value of belonging to God. 

Far from remaining upset with Dr. Foster, I'm more grateful that he said to me back then. I understand what he was saying. Here's hoping that you too have a 'story' and a 'song'...Amen!

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