Was there a voice in those drops crying out? And what did the message offer up to God, and what did God say about it?
In the great lineage of American preachers stands the Rev. Dr. James Forbes. To watch him in action is to witness greatness. Pure theater rooted in theological soil. The sad fact is that most people will never have the opportunity to hear the charismatic minister deliver one of his unforgettable sermons.
As fortune would have it, though, the distinguished pastor left his pulpit and post as senior minister emeritus at Riverside Church in New York City to make his way to Selma, Alabama and give the sermon at historic Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church. His task? To commemorate Bloody Sunday and the recreation of the annual civil rights march across Edmund Pettus Bridge.
In attendance were members of the Presidential Cabinet and the U.S. Congress, including Rep. John Lewis, whose blood was shed on that day 48 years ago on that day, on March 3rd. Dr. Forbes plays off this imagery and moment in American history. He turns to the fourth chapter of Genesis, the first account of bloodshed recorded in the Bible, in which God says to Cain: “Listen. Your brother’s blood is crying out from the ground.”
Do yourself a favor and see where Rev. Forbes takes this idea in his sermon above. And then watch Krista Tippett’s interview with Congressman John Lewis.