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Pastor’s Place: Amen!

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Paul McGarvey, Pastor, Chinn’s Chapel United Methodist Church, Copper Canyon
Paul McGarvey, Pastor, Chinn’s Chapel United Methodist Church, Copper Canyon

by Paul McGarvey, Pastor of Chinn’s Chapel United Methodist Church, Copper Canyon

I was reading 2 Corinthians 2:12-22 recently, and it occurred to me that there are a variety of reactions to good news, successes, wins – fist pumps and fist bumps, jumping up and down, yelling, chest-bumping, high fives, falling to our knees and loudly whispering “Yes! Yes!”, and combinations of these!

There’s a Bible word for these kinds of reactions.  It’s a well-known word.  We all use it (some more than others!).  It’s an emphatic “Yes!” kind of word.  We pronounce it either “Ay-men” or “Ah-men” (this one can sound a little pseudo-pious sometimes!).  And we sometimes say it without much expression.

We could take a lesson from my African-American sisters and brothers at the Webster Avenue church in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, PA.  If you can’t preach in that setting, you can’t preach!  I’m a pretty laid-back guy, but they would get me fired up!  They would speak out during the sermon – “Well-l-l!”, “That’s right!”, “Preach it, now!”, “Uh-huh!”, and about 10 different versions of “Amen!” with different inflections and punctuations.  And their “Amens” had exclamation points after them!  These friends put a big “AMEN!” on my preaching!  They said “YES!” (fist pump goes here!) to me!

Check out 2 Corinthians 2:20.  What Jesus Christ has done for all of us in making it possible to know God, and enjoy forgiveness of sin, and have the incredible hope of eternal life, means that God is saying “YES!” to us!  The Apostle Paul says that our appropriate response to this good news is “AMEN!”  “Jesus loves me, this I know”…YES!  “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound”…YES!

If affirming words have been too rarely spoken to you, remember that God affirms you!  Your God is proud of you!  He trusts you!  You are His treasure!  You make His day!  He cherishes you!  And He doesn’t care how weak or warped or way out you are.  God loves you, and He looks at you and says “YES!” (fist pump goes here!)

Oh, by the way, guess what the very last word in the Bible is.  Right there in Revelation 22:21:  “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people.  Amen!”  The last word in God’s Word is……YES!  (Be prepared to explain to your family and friends why you’re jumping up and down!)


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