Utilizing the narrative of King David’s appointment over all of Israel, Bishop Claude Alexander reminds us that there is usually time between God declaring a promise and when it is fulfilled. It takes time for God to produce His now, but this time stretches us and our faith. God had promised that David would be king of Israel and at the designated time, God used Abner, Saul’s commander, to turn on Saul and support David as the king. Abner went to the elders and confirmed that “some time was now.” He told them to make David their king. We can learn from this story that we have all the time we will need to be transformed into the people God desires—regardless of how long it takes. The certainty of God’s timing should give us strength while we wait. It’s not how long but how certain we are of God’s faithfulness to deliver on His promises as demonstrated throughout history.
Bishop Claude Alexander uses Joshua’s battle at Ai to remind us to be laser focused on our goals—even when we are defeated. In the text, God delivers a message to Joshua for the children of Israel, who were paralyzed with fear after a devastating defeat. The people have an unfinished task of possessing the land God has promised. Real life affirms that the pathway to the things promised by God is crossed with moments of challenge, destruction and disappointment. These moments cause us to become disoriented and we lose our focus. However, God tells Joshua (and us) to not be discouraged and He gives Joshua orders for a successful takeover of the land. Springing to action—even without full clarity–Joshua keeps his spear (and his focus) pointed as God told him, and the people rush into the land and capture the city and burn it. We too should keep our focus on God’s purpose for our lives because God has not changed His mind. We need to bring the heat and fire and anointing of God to follow our purpose and be focused on our goals.
On his pastoral anniversary, Bishop Claude Alexander preaches what he would preach to another pastor or anyone in leadership. Utilizing the text of Saul’s decision to forgo waiting on Samuel and to make his own burnt offering to God, Alexander explores several competing tensions Saul and leaders have to navigate and negotiate. He explains that how God’s people resolve those tensions reveals their core and their source of security. Remembering God’s promises and faithfulness will help us handle competing tensions.
After one complete year of dealing with the pandemic, Bishop Claude Alexander raises the story of the disciples in a raging storm with Jesus asleep. The disciples–and us– ask in the midst of disruption, despair, depression if God cares. In the midst of chaos and crisis, Alexander says Jesus reveals that God cares–even when silently present.
Highlighting the story of the leper healed by God, Bishop Claude Alexander takes a close look at the person and nature of God. In the midst of a pandemic and racial reckoning, he asks what is God’s disposition toward those society neglects, shuns, and marginalizes. He answers by showing that God takes time for us and makes space for us through His grace and compassion.
Reflecting on the unprecedented year of COVID-19 pandemic, Bishop Claude Alexander unpacks who God is as he marks the anniversary of the pandemic in the shadow of another Easter. Jesus accepted vulnerability and became human and revealed to us more about God, and He reminded us that we can not only overcome a pandemic, but we can overcome sin and any other storm thrown our way.
Words Along The Way Pt 5: Red Seas and Jordan Rivers
In this sermon, Bishop Claude Alexander exams and compares two pivotal and miraculous acts of God for his people: when God parted the waters of the Red Sea to allow the Israelites to exit out of bondage in Egypt and when God separated the waters of the Jordan River so the Israelites could enter the Promised Land. In both events, the people are faced with obstacles and God helps them overcome by bringing them through their challenges. These events show that God is a God of exit and a God of entrance. There’s no point on our path to purpose that can be blocked and we should praise God for the many times and ways He has brought us through our own Red Seas and Jordan Rivers.
As the nation remembers the tragedy of September 11, 2001, Bishop Claude Alexander focuses on God as our refuge, strength, and security. Recalling Hezekiah’s proclamation when the King of Assyria threatened to attack Judah, Alexander reminds us we should not fear when we are threatened. All we need to know is that God is in the midst. Even when God is unseen, we can trust that God is unfailing. We can move forward recognizing our source of security. Knowing this, we can be still and at ease.
From the laments of Job, Bishop Claude Alexander asks the questions: Where then is my hope? Can anyone find it?
After a week when the nation faced destruction from flooding and high winds brought by Hurricane Ida, wildfires in the West, and more deaths from the pandemic, Alexander points out that we’ve faced many issues that are out of our control. Life, for some, may seem like a puzzle of disconnected pieces. However, just as Job held on to his hope in God, we too can trust that God knows more than we can see or understand. God has more in mind for us.
Hope holds us as we grapple with life, not knowing the full picture. We trust and believe that God has more in mind for us as he shifts us, purifies us, and tries us so we can meet the gold standard he has for each of us. Alexander encourages us to hold on to hope until morning comes.
Words Along The Way Pt 4: Out of Sight Out of Mind
As Bishop Alexander continues with this series about the life of Jacob, a question arises. How do you deal with human forgetfulness? He flushes out the answer in this sermon. Your life should be lived on purpose for God and not by the thought or lack of by humans. The timing of your actions and the people tied to your purpose are ordered by God. Everything God has for you will come to pass.