The 2018 Good Friday service held at Mount Beulah Baptist Church brought together another great collection of speakers as each briefly touched upon the last seven sayings of Christ from the cross.
The roster of ministers included the reverends Willie J. Davis and Gary L. Perryman who expounded on the first and second sayings and Pastor Lillie C. Gilmore, the only woman on the list, presented on the third word, “Woman, behold thy son.”
She explained that the quote was Jesus’ way of demonstrating how people should be responsible for the welfare of their elderly parents. “John is there, and I don’t know if he knew the responsibility that was going to be placed on him, but he was there, where are you? Are you where god wants you to be?” she asked.
Elder Ezra D. Howard spoke about sin and separation in his interpretation of the fourth word, “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” He remarked at how at the moment when the sins of the world were laid on Jesus, he could no longer refer to God as Father but simply, as His God. “I don’t know about you, but it is always good to know when you can feel the presence of your God.”
He said Jesus didn’t say a word when his disciples left, but he cried out when His God left him. The reverend Milton Glass followed Howard with the fifth word, “I thirst.” He talked about the five times the word thirst was mentioned in the book of John, some physical and some spiritual and then expressed how he believes Jesus was also thirsting for his people, thirsting for the souls of mankind. “I don’t know about you, but he saw me coming and I hope he saw you coming,”
Glass continued that he believed Jesus was thirsting to see sinners delivered. He then reeled off an exhaustive list of sinful acts and behaviors before surmising, “I may not have called you out, but we’ve got some has-been every things in here.”
The sixth and seventh words came by way of the reverends Edgar M. Lewis and Herman Cole respectively. The service is in its 15th year and is presented by the Sunflower County Unified Christian Organization.
Reverends Otha L. Campbell and Herron Wilson presided over the ceremony.