Every year we preachers eagerly look for help with the daunting challenge of preparing an Easter sermon. Never are we as acutely aware of our own limitations, intellectual and spiritual, as when we try to find words to express the reality that a dead man didn’t remain dead.
Theologian N. T. Wright says that even when you are in the Promised Land you are never far from the wilderness. I’m not the only preacher who has pondered how our nation has gone so quickly from the promised land of abundance to a wilderness of economic uncertainty. This recession is a new place for most of us.
Reflecting on depression among African Americans and its isolating effects, Wynnetta Wimberley of Emory University says the African adage “I am, because we are” should be used to combat depression in the black community. One study has shown that African Americans are more likely to seek help from clergy than from mental health counseling or medication. Hence African-American pastors play a key role of helping to overcome the shame of depression and restoring people’s place in their communities (Journal of Pastoral Theology, March).