Texts: 1 Corinthians 1:18-20; 2:1-5
Speaker: Joel Miller
The image behind me and on your bulletins is a stained glass window in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. That’s the church that was bombed in 1963. It was a Sunday morning in September, and there were about 200 people in the building when the bomb exploded. Four black girls were killed. Addie Mae Collins, age 14. Cynthia Wesley, age 14. Carole Robertson, age 14. Denise McNair, age 11.
The stained glass window was a gift from a Welsh artist. He was so moved by the tragedy that he raised money throughout Wales – especially inviting children to donate – in order to create this window as a permanent installation in the church. It was one of the first public depictions of a black Christ in the deep South.
One of its messages is told in the positioning of the hands. The left hand is held open, a sign of openness, of welcome, of surrender to the will of God. The right hand is held up as if holding off the very forces of evil themselves. A...