Browse posts tag by lynching


April 25, 2023 By dwayman

Two Obstacles of Easter

Benjamin Wayman, St. Paul’s Free Methodist Church

Year A – Easter; 9 April 2023
Acts 10:34-43; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-18

Today Mary helps us see the Lord. And I’m so grateful she does. In John’s Gospel, Mary appears
only twice, but her appearances are at the climax of the story. Her first appearance is at the
foot of the cross, standing with Jesus’s mother, bearing with her the pain of Jesus’s torture and
death. Her second and final appearance is narrated in our reading today: she’s confused by an
empty tomb and greeted by Jesus, whom she mistook to be the gardener.

I wonder how she mistook him. It is not that she didn’t know Jesus. What kept her from seeing
her resurrected Lord? And what is it today that causes us not to see the resurrected Lord?
On this Easter Sunday, I’d like to explore two obstacles that obstruct our seeing and believing
the gospel. My hunch is that one of these obstacles is more substantial for you than the other,
and today we hear stories of how each are overcome by the earliest Christians.

The first obstacle that obstructs our seeing and believing the gospel is death. The second is
resurrection. These two obstacles, the cross and the empty tomb, are what Christians call “the
mystery of Easter.” I’d like to suggest that these two obstacles – the cross and the empty tomb –


September 7, 2018 By dwayman

The Wesleyan theological method is to evaluate truth from four sources: Scripture as our primary source, and Reason, Tradition and Experience as resources.  Thus our theological education involves the study of Scripture, the study of the sciences and philosophy, the study of history and the exposure to experiences.  It is molding all four into a single educational experience that is difficult. Greenville University has accomplished this rare feat in their Justice Ministry pilgrimage program.

Here Helen Kaufman, one of the leaders in the FMC for decades in Civil Rights shares her experience in this “embodied learning.”  The article begins with:

“Helen Kaufmann ’56 had studied Civil Rights issues for decades. She was no stranger to good research habits, and years of teaching at Parkland College (Champaign, Illinois) honed her ability to engage deeply with material.

Yet a different kind of “learning” emerged when Kaufmann laid her hand across the stone slabs that bore the names of 4,400 lynching victims at the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. The horrors of lynching hit home afresh as she viewed “row upon row” of jars holding soil from lynching sites, a stark symbol of the prevalence of that practice mere decades ago.

She slept in a motel built on the onetime site of a slave warehouse, where slaves spent their own fitful nights many years ago. She saw the former Lorraine Motel in Memphis where Martin Luther King,