Sermons & Testimonies
Personal Testimony by Gloria Lightsey of Binkley Baptist Church (Nov. 2015)
Good Morning. I'm Gloria Lightsey. Today's gospel reading is taken from Mark 10:46-52. It is the story of Blind Bartimaeus receiving his sight. (On this day, Bartimaeus calls out to Jesus: "Son of David show me mercy!")
Bartimaeus' faith brought about significant change for him. This inspiring story invites us all to live with the persistent hope that brings positive change. In our challenging situations, God gives us strength and compassion to move into the heart of the matter and find hope through change.
Moving into the heart of the matter... This is what we do at Binkley! A few individuals in this church began Faith Connections, a coalition to offer comfort and support to the mentally ill and people who care for and about them. Faith Connections strives to stop the stigma of mental illness and battle the sense of isolation and rejection. Individuals and houses of worship from all faiths are invited to join this coalition. Faith Connections offers advocacy, support, and education. Faith Connections and Binkley have personally offered support and comfort to my loving husband and caregiver, Rob, and me through the years.
Today, as my bipolar illness has become more chronic, you as our church family continue to walk beside Rob and me and give us hope through the spirit of Christ. Church staff, choir and church members provide transportation for medical treatment, electroconvulsive treatment, ECT, monthly. With compassion, you are actively fulfilling the mission of Binkley as an advocate of justice and peace in the way of Christ. When my days may include persistent suicidal thoughts, the sunrise of each new day brings the voices of friends, including Binkley, and family and sounds of prayers giving way to the dawn of hope.
God gives us the strength to move into the heart of the matter just as Jesus changed the direction of Bartimaeus' life. The grace of God is still unfolding in our lives each day just as you move into the heart of my matter. Thanks be to God! (Scripture is now read.)
"I'd like to hear a sermon about: Mental Illness in the Gospels"
By Anna Pinckney Straight on August 2, 2015 | News by the same author
preached by Anna Pinckney Straight
for University Presbyterian Church, Chapel Hill
August 2, 2015
"I'd like to hear a sermon about mental illness in the gospels."
It is a wonderful sermon suggestion. Thank you to the person who made it.
Because, consider this data gathered by the National Alliance on Mental Illness:
Approximately 18.6% of adults experiences mental illness in a given year.
Approximately 20% of youth aged 13 - 18 live with a mental health condition.
Approximately 75% all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 24;
Approximately 19% of adults over the age of 65 are affected in some way by depression
I suspect that there's not a single person in this room who isn't affected by this topic.
There is, of course, one complication.
Mental illness isn't discussed in the gospels, or in the Bible.
In the first century, there was no language for depression or schizophrenia.
No bipolar or PTSD.
Did it exist? Most certainly.
But these wasn't a concept or language for it.
But people knew when something was different.
When someone wasn't behaving "normally." Read more at link or PDF version