the bottomline

I've Got the Nine
Friday, June 26, 2015 by Dan Allen

The cadence used in sermons by black pastors is often not only refreshing but desirable. I can’t do it. It doesn’t come natural for me. When these guys get on a roll, however, is it any wonder that they are greeted with verbal shouts of “Amen,” “Yes sir,” “Come on” and “Preach it brother!”?

From an article I recently read there was no cadence in the message, just a profound truth in what the interim pastor of Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church, Novel Goff, Sr., said one week to the day of the church’s killing and in the same bullet ridden room. He declared to the roughly 150 people who attended the Bible study and prayer meeting that despite the evil that visited them last week, “this territory belongs to God.” And then he said: “Last week dark powers came over Mother Emanuel (the nickname of the church). But . . . God in His infinite wisdom said ‘that’s alright. I’ve got the nine.’”

At first glance, I didn’t catch what he meant, but then it hit me. God’s got the nine. He’s taking the nine people who were killed with Him. He will take care of them. You, church, work hard to minister to the rest. “I’ve got the nine!”

I like that! And not only does He have the nine, but he has got all the rest as well. It’s just that these nine individuals are now “in his bosom” if I can borrow a phrase that might be heard in a black church.

Here’s a truism – death really isn’t all that bad for a Christian. Oh, the process might be unpleasant as the eyes finally are shut in this body. But when they are opened on the other shore, He’s got us. 

We are so tethered to this life. Despite knowing that there is a wonderful afterlife, we dread the passing. We do everything in our earthly power to avoid the inevitable. Yet, God has us. If we are in Him, He will take care of us. Moreover, as Jesus noted to His disciples – He is preparing a place for you, [and] I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:3).

I’ve made mention several times that since the passing of my son the leash that keeps me earth bound is not as fast as it used to be. Oh, don’t worry, I’m not chasing death. No, no, there is much to be done for the Kingdom. But there is a new realization that, if I can quote from an old black Spiritual – “this world is not my home, I’m just passing through.”

David summed-it-up when he wrote - Yea, though I pass through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me (Psa. 23:4).
“I’ve got this,” God says. “I got you in the palm of my hand. I’m not letting you go. I’m going to be with you every step of the way. That’s alright . . . I’ve got the nine.” 

Can I get a “Hallelujah” church?


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