Tag Archives: Marvin McMickle

McMickle: ‘Don’t let bigotry go unchallenged. Let your light shine.’

“In 1956, an African-American preacher named Howard Thurman decided to leave his work in San Francisco to be the dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University,” said the Rev. Marvin McMickle at the Friday morning 9:15 a.m. Devotional Hour. “He had gone to San Francisco with a vision to build an intentionally racially integrated church from the ground up. He had a Pentecost vision, of going back to that first church in Jerusalem where people from all places came together.”

McMickle’s title was “Are You a Contagious Christian?,” and his text was Matthew 13:13-16.

“In the midst of this work, he got the invitation to Boston,” McMickle said, “He said, ‘Should I stay with the work that I started or move on to the opposite side of the country?’ He moved to Boston on this basis: ‘I want to put myself in a place where I can have the maximum contagion. I want to be where whatever there is of God and godliness in me has the highest possibility of rubbing off, of being caught by someone else.’”

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McMickle: ‘How do we deal with what we don’t want to see?’

“I am among those who harbor no doubt about the authority and value of the word of God. People have noticed that my sermons are based on Scripture, and they will be until I stop preaching. I value the unending wisdom in Scripture, but I read other sources for insight as well. ‘Garfield’ rates high on that list, as does ‘Peanuts.’ While they make me laugh, they also make me think,” said the Rev. Marvin McMickle at the Thursday morning 9:15 a.m. Devotional Hour. His sermon title was “The Lengths and Limits of Love,” and his text was 2 Corinthians 8:7-15.

McMickle chose a Thanksgiving Day “Garfield” strip to begin his sermon. In the first panel, Garfield is sitting at the table with a feast in front of him — turkey, dressing, biscuits, vegetables, pies and a beverage. He is obviously enjoying the feast, but in a corner of that panel, outside the window, is the subtle image of Odie the dog.

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McMickle: ‘Endure, press on, fight the good fight, finish the race’

“I want to start with a reading from W. E. B. Du Bois’ Prayers for Dark People. It was written for African-American people going through a dark time. The years 1895 to 1925 were the nadir, the darkest and most difficult time for black people. Sharecropping, the KKK rallies and the known lynching of 3,000 black people and maybe as many as 3,000 more, made it a dark time,” said the Rev. Marvin McMickle. He was preaching at the Wednesday 9:15 a.m. Devotional Hour. His topic was “Having the Faith to Endure,” and his text was 2 Timothy 4:1-8.

According to McMickle, Du Bois said that African-Americans must learn to endure to the end, to finish things and to bring them to full fruition. They should not be content with plans, or ambitions or only part of an education. They should “resist the temptation of shirking, but have the grit to endure to the end.”

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McMickle: ‘We are God’s twice’

“ ‘Because I live, you shall live also.’ That scripture haunts me every time I contemplate it. What kind of life did Jesus have in mind?” asked the Rev. Marvin McMickle, the Mr. and Mrs. William U. Follansbee chaplain this week. He was speaking at the 9:15 a.m. Devotional Hour Tuesday morning. His text was John 14:15-19, and his title was “Because He Lives.”

“When we say ‘I am really living’ we are talking about cars, houses, clothing, Chautauqua. When Jesus says ‘you shall live also,’ I don’t think he had those things in mind. We can make a mess of life on our own,” McMickle said.

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McMickle: ‘We have confused patriotism with the gospel of Christ’

“What is interesting about the English language is that some words are not fully comprehended until they are put in context. Take the word ‘bear.’ It can mean a warm, furry animal walking around the woods or it can mean to carry a burden,” said the Rev. Marvin McMickle at Monday’s 9:15 a.m. Devotional Hour. McMickle’s text was Amos 7:10-14 and Acts 7:51-58, and his title was “Does Our Gospel Still Offend?”

“The word ‘offensive’ is another one. It can mean that you have not brushed your teeth and I don’t want to sit too close. It can mean an attitude of aggression to score points to win a game. Or it can be something said that cuts to the quick and is politically, morally and theologically offensive to those around you,” McMickle said. “I remember what Pete Rose did 40 years ago. He was on first base, and the ball was hit, and he started to run, and he just kept running. He rounded second and kept running, and the third-base coach signaled him to stop, and he just kept running. He ran right at the catcher who had the ball, and he just ran him over. All because he was offensive?”

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McMickle: ‘Can we show that we are trustworthy?’

“The title is suggestive; it is meant to be a puzzlement. Is there something greater than the love of God?” asked the Rev. Marvin McMickle, president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, and the Mr. and Mrs. William Uhler Follansbee Memorial Chaplain for Week Five at Chautauqua. His title was “Something Greater than the Love of God,” and his text was Job 1:1-12.

“Most of us have been led to believe that there may not be anything greater than the love of God. Jesus loves me, this I know. Greater love has no man than this. … Now abide these three, faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love,” he said. “But what we ought to strive for is trust. Not can we trust God, but can God trust us? Shakespeare said we love all men, and trust but a few.

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Rev. Marvin McMickle: Our exceptional tolerance for poverty

The liberation theologian Gustavo Gutierrez once observed: “We should not begin with simply doing theological reflection and writing. We should begin with a political commitment to the poor and the needy.”

Theology should arise out of our own personal commitment to justice and equity. Anyone doing theological reflection whether in the form of classroom teaching, pulpit preaching or writing books or articles must do so with that challenge in mind.

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McMickle brings message of social justice to Amp pulpit

The Rev. Marvin A. McMickle will serve as chaplain for Week Five at Chautauqua. His sermon for the Sunday Morning Worship Service will be “Something Greater Than the Love of God.” He will share his faith journey at 5 p.m. Sunday Vespers and will speak each morning at the 9:15 a.m. Devotional Hour. His sermon titles for the week include: “Does Our Gospel Still Offend?” “Because He Lives,” “Having the Faith to Endure,” “The Lengths and Limits of Love” and “Are You a Contagious Christian?”

McMickle is the 12th president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, N. Y. Ordained to the Christian ministry in 1973 at Abyssinian Baptist Church of New York City, he also served on the pastoral staff there.

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