When Prophet Ezekiel was told by God to preach to the valley of dry bones, God asked Ezekiel, Can these bones live? Ezekiel's response was: O Lord God, thou knowest. In my sixteen years of ordained ministry, I share Prophet Ezekiel's response: . God, thou knowest. I've lived and learned that my thoughts aren't God's thoughts, and my ways aren't God's ways. I've been an eye witness to the Spirit of God taking what seems to be impossible and breathing new life into a situation. I've learned to never underestimate the Spirit.
My Auntie Mama----my great double aunt----Georgia Mae Mastin Bone was a deeply religious woman who annually gave her address at the Women's Auxiliary Convention, where she served many years as president, of the Flint River Primitive Baptist Association. Everyone, including myself, waited anxiously to hear how Auntie Mama was going to deliver her sermon that year. Although Auntie Mama would have never called her annual address a sermon, that's exactly what it was! My aunt, in addition, would have never referred to herself, or any other woman, as a preacher but, in hindsight, that's exactly what she was doing, even if it was just once a year. The male preachers were free to clap, say Amen, stand to their feet, and shout Hallelujah because she was giving an address, not a sermon. But a sermon it was!
Auntie Mama has been my greatest influence. I think when I went to her years later to tell her that I had been called to preach, she must have forgotten about the time when I was in middle school and she told me that she had prayed that God would give me the Spirit. Although I wanted badly the approval of someone I loved so much, I knew that my obedience to God superseded my aunt's patriarchal theology. I grew up that day, that very moment of rejection, and have never looked back. I said, Yes, to God. It has been almost seventeen years since that Christmas Eve morning of 1988 when God sent me, like Ezekiel, to preach, even if it's to a valley of dry bones. This is important to remember because, ultimately, it's not me the instrument, but the Spirit of God that does the convicting, the healing, the forgiving, and the saving.
Through these sermons I offer what the Spirit of God has given me. Those who have heard me preach know that I use everything I have within me and props: baby bottles, baby food, pacifiers, balloons, lipstick, Barbie dolls, sunglasses, hats, telephones, etc., to convey God's love for us. These sermons remind us how God pours his Spirit on all of us. Thank God we don't have a monopoly on the Spirit.
I begin with Sermons on Prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah. Secondly, I focus on sermons that speak to women and issues that women face with sermons on Rahab, the woman at the well, the widow with her two mites, and a female interpretation of the Prodigal Son, called Prodigal Daughters. Thirdly, I've chosen sermons where the text was focused on the Gospel according to St. Matthew and The Gospel according to St. Mark. Fourthly, there are two sermons that highlight Holy Communion and what that means in the life of the believer and the Church. And finally, I conclude with my sermon delivered during Black History Month titled, Are our Ancestors Angry?
And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. (Ezekiel 37: 3-4, KJV.)