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A Word from our Regional Bishop (June 2020)
Bishop Alex D. Byrd
/ Categories: The Episcopal Desk

A Word from our Regional Bishop (June 2020)

Miracles, Signs and Wonders—Participation Required

If I were to compare my military experience to the two great kings David and Solomon, I would have to admit that I am more like Solomon than David. David was a man of war—a conqueror; Solomon was not. I describe myself in the words of Ronny Light (popularized in contemporary times by Michael Jackson), "I'm a lover, not a fighter." Yet, here lately I have come to the realization that if something is worth having, it is worth the fight. So, I've been praying a Davidic prayer over my life, "Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight" (Psalms 144:1 KJV).

Many of us have been taught to "sit back and wait on God," "stand still and see the salvation of the Lord," and "hold your peace and let the Lord fight your battles." One of my great mentors, Rev. Bob Ellis, taught me to never concretize a certain way God does things; instead, always listen to the Holy Spirit for instruction in the moment. Another friend of mine, Pastor Cedric Adams, explaining the history of the development of faith and action, said that God told Moses to part the water, told Joshua to step into the water before it parted and told Peter he could walk on the water. In times past, we may have enjoyed the divine and miraculous protection of God that required no effort on our part. Some of us have benefitted from the battles other waged in our behalf while we stayed at home and did nothing. But now, I hear God saying to us in the words of Bishop J. B. Ransom, "The victory is yours, but you've got to fight for it."

We love to tell stories about how God fought our battles for us without us. These supernatural miracles help us to rely on God's power outside of ourselves. Yet, there is a miracle that works through us—the mundane miracles—that is no less impactful and no less God. These miracles require that we tap into the fullness of God on the inside of us and manifest God's omnipotence, omniscience and even God's omnipresence. That's the power of God that shows up through us. That's the power of God that works through our creativity. That's the power of God that works through our tenacity. That's the power of God that works through our hands and feet? Until we are united in purpose and power with God, we will never understand how powerful we can be; we will never manifest the unlimited power of God inside of us.

We have reason, in this COVID-19 quarantine and this new civil rights movement, to manifest the God-internal by intentional putting our hands and feet in the fight. It is high time, if there ever was a time, for us to put our bodies, our words and our actions in the war to defeat these Philistines that oppress us with their Goliath-sized abuses of power. Watch God work through your vote. Let God work through you sheltering in place, sanitizing and wearing your mask. Watch God work through the letters you write to your government officials and the news editors. Watch God speak through your live streams, podcasts and blogs. In this hour, if we are going to see the glory of God, we are going to have to reveal it through our intentional efforts toward our success.Ω

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Bishop Alex D. Byrd

Bishop Alex D. ByrdBishop Alex D. Byrd

Regional Bishop for the South

Second Episcopal Assistant to the Presiding Bishop

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