You know the "Jesse" that I am talking about, right?
Yep! You're right about it. The Rebbend Jesse Jackson.
Who got the chance to view the seven(7-hour) going home services for Sister Rosa Parks in Detroit, Michigan, yesterday (Wednesday). The horse-drawn carriage waited in the light of day and it wasn't until dead of night they eased their way to the cemetery to her final resting place.
Imagine! Seven (7 hours). But I am used to serving in long funerals. Just not that long (maybe 3 l/2 hours long, to date).
Jackson's daughter lost weight and found her place in the sun (no pun or sarcasm intended). She has the most beautiful, versatile voice among many virtuosos. And she did US proud. Then her father got up and took a text. That part was fine. Then he let go with all barrels blazing. He laid out President Bush; the Secretary of State, Dr. Rice; the former Secretary of State and esteemed (I believe) Five-Star General, Powell; the policies of the Bush Administration; blaming them for everything from Iraq to stolen votes to left out health care to bodies floating in the floods of the aftermath of Katrina, and on and on and on. The church suddenly seemed ill at ease. I thought they did not know whether to feel embarrassed for him or feel sorry for him.
As for me --- I thought if I had been there either in the pulpit or in the congregation, I would have found it very hard to keep from standing up -- pointing in his direction -- and saying, "NO!" It is not that way! SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!!!
You know you've got to be bold in the face of evil. So, the people listened as he went on to pronounce the President should place a statute of Mrs. Parks in Statuary Hall and name a park after her and do so much in her name. But that was after he had told how she was a plain person and nobody knew where she lived --- didn't know what sheets she had on her bed --- didn't know what was in her china closet, etc. And we know it was because Mrs. Parks was a private person who came out at the insistence of others who (we know) only wanted to gloat in her presence -- to bask in her light and they ignored everytime her light was from God.
But, thanks be to God --- Neither Jesse nor Aretha could steal the spotlight from Jesus. Just when they thought they were winding up and now the people would be let go ---- the BISHOP stood up and took a text! PRAISE GOD! And he surely did praise God. His message was, "The Legend of the Rock" (building on a firm foundation -- not sand). And, those Preachers in attendance who love God set my heart on fire and re-ignited the love of Jesus in my soul ------ I am so glad to be in the number one more time!
The Bishop honored the Christ in Mrs. Parks and he did not try to rewrite history right before our faces who were there in the moment the news first broke. Jesse did all he could to revise her role. Jesse had said it was degrading to think of Mrs. Parks as a seamstress. Jesse said that was not relevant and that she was a FREEDOM FIGHTER!
Within context, we know that was not true. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. saw a platform that would work at that particular time, and she agreed, because she could see the hand of God move in the situation. Otherwise, she would not have joined up. But we know it was God, because look how long it lasted and still does last.
Back to the Bishop! Praise God, his spirit would not have let him rest for the rest of his life, if he had not obeyed the Holy Spirit and PREACHED that funeral. Jesse flunked badly. Jesse was the people's pride and joy. But Jesse does not understand what the Bishop did and said ---- that civil rights was not what got Sister Rosa where she was in the eyes of esteem. It was only her God and her love of Jesus that carried her.
I hope somebody else here saw that service, too. If so, did you see another take on it than I?
Rest on, Sister Rosa Parks. Glory is your reward and nothing else on earth will ever compare.
Praying and praising as I go,