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The Rev. Dr. Michael W. Waters, who wrote the award-winning “For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World,” published last year by Flyaway Books, brought a pair of show-and-tell items to punctuate his hour-long talk Thursday evening at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky.
About 20 minutes into Wednesday’s 90-minute webinar on prophetic preaching, the Rev. Dr. Kenyatta Gilbert paused to answer questions. After one about preaching in “purple” churches (a mix of political conservatives and progressives in the pews) Gilbert got this question from one of the 30 participants, a pastor also serving a purple congregation: Have I spent enough time understanding the complexity of the lamentation of these people?
There’s a reason Blue Christmas and Longest Night services have become popular in recent years. They recognize that amid all the shopping and get-togethers, the holidays need tidings of both comfort and joy. Comfort, because loneliness, grief and pain can be especially potent this time of year. Joy, because we need the hope of the gospel.