Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Did you feel blessed and loved when you left your house of worship this past week-end? Did you feel up-lifted and ready to face a new week of challenges? You would have if you had been at First Baptist Church of Worcester, Massachusetts, this past Sunday. The Rev. Dr. Thomas R. McKibbens delivered an inspiring sermon, "Claiming the Voice."
McKibbens, who is one of the contributors to the newly published book, Christian Civility in an Uncivil World, declared, "We are blessed. We are a blessed people and it is important that you and I recognize that we are blessed. The word, 'benediction,' means blessing. It literally means, 'good words.' To bless someone means to say good things about them. We all need to know that someone is saying good things about us." When we greet one another, we are wishing good for each other. It is more than a passing greeting. It is a blessing. We are blessing each other."
Dr. McKibbens was the speaker for the celebration of the 325th anniversary of the First Baptist Church of Charleston, South Carolina, the oldest Baptist Church in the south. He held the congregation in the palm of his hand. He mixes the right amount of emotion with his explanation of the Scriptures to capture the attention of his listeners and involve them in the learning and growing process.
In his chapter, "The Pastor as Friend; Civility in Practice," in Christian Civility in an Uncivil World, he not only demonstrates his pastor's heart, but also his knowledge of the history and practice of pastoral counseling. He discusses, Ministry as Therapy." McKibbens is also the author of, The Forgotten Heritage: A Linage of Great Baptist Preaching. If that book were being written today by a different author, Tom McKibbens would be one of those preachers profiled.
Mitch Carnell Ph.D.