1601 South 13th Road · Arlington, VA 22204

Sermon Archive

Life on the Rebound

Life on the Rebound

Jan 2022 - Feb 2022
Sermons in this series
Sun, Feb 06, 2022
Passage: Nehemiah 11:1
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
Today our pastor hones in on the summary clause of scripture from Nehemiah 11:1, which reads, “At the time, I was cupbearer to the king.” In this autobiographical memoir of the praying Nehemiah, we find he is in service to a Persian king and therefore uniquely located in a position to gain the king’s favor to help his people in his hometown of Jerusalem. Pastor Victor’s timely and moving sermon brings to our attention four pertinent aspects of location.

The first aspect of location is that we are all temporally located. Every one of us live in a chronological period and we need to recognize that our time is a precious gift from God. Nehemiah understood that his location at the time in the royal palace was not just an individual privilege, but an opportunity to help his native Jerusalem. Our moments are to be used to help others by doing the Lord’s work. Every minute, every hour, of every day is an opportunity to do something worthwhile, to do something good.

The second aspect is that we are situationally located. We are a product of the time in which we live. There is no need to look back longingly for what is behind us, for that was not our time. Although this time is fraught with political divisions, a global pandemic, violence and brazen racism, the Lord placed us here for such a time as this. He designed us to endure and is counting on us to live faithfully and boldly during our given days.

The third aspect is being professionally located. Though our work may be difficult or even risky at times, we are located right where God needs us, for there He can use us to expand His kingdom. Like Nehemiah, in our professional location we may have access to the powerful and those in authority. There we have the opportunity to influence others and change hearts and minds. Wherever we are we can serve as witnesses of God’s goodness in our lives. We can be a blessing even in the workplace environment.

Then lastly, we are socially located. Nehemiah in his social location as servant to a king had a unique position and access to ask for the favor of the king to help his people. Though we may feel like the least, God can elevate us to a position of leadership where we can serve Him best.

We are temporally, situationally, professionally, and socially located to do great things for the Lord. Do not languish for we must optimize the gift of chronological time that He has given to us. Be assured that we are built for this time, and when we pray to a listening God as Nehemiah did and align ourselves with His plan and purpose all things are possible. So, my beloved, at present you can say, if I knew then what I know now, I have no reason to worry about anything for the Lord will always work it out.
Sun, Jan 30, 2022
Duration: 25 mins 1 sec
On this cold and cloudy fourth Sunday of 2022, Pastor Victor invites us to engage in an exercise in which we imagine with him the ancient biblical world. Here we find the Jewish people rebuilding a wall in an environment as complex as this the twenty first century which now is mired in battles, divisions, and trauma. In today’s text, Nehemiah 4:1-6, although their city of Jerusalem is in ruins, the people come together with a holistic vision to restore what has been destroyed. In this current day as we try to recover from the woes of this world, we can learn much from the characteristics of a people who work uniformly and collectively to accomplish God’s mission.

The first characteristic we see is that the people pursued a common goal. They worked together to complete the wall for everyone’s protection recognizing that the wall was also symbolic of the presence of God. Secondly, another characteristic was they worked for a common result. Personal agendas aside, theirs was a communal life, seeking to live in harmony with one another. They lived to finish what they started with the Lord directing their path. Lastly, the Jewish people practiced a common strategy for a common adversary. This tried-and-true strategy is assurance that their adversaries would not prevail.

Nehemiah prayed for a reversal of the situation in which his people found themselves. By pursuing a common goal, working toward a common result, and practicing a common strategy for a common adversary, they were confident the Lord would fight their battle and bring them the victory. God will also fight our battles, restoring us materially, secularly, and spiritually when we focus on our mission, and put our minds on doing the work He has purposed for us in this, His earthly kingdom.
Sun, Jan 16, 2022
Passage: Ezra 3:10-13
Duration: 24 mins 14 secs
In this Sunday’s passage, with text taken from Ezra 3: 10-13, builders are laying the foundation for a second temple since the first had been destroyed during the occupation. The formerly exiled Israelites witnessing the construction of the structure released shouts of joy and shouts of mourning. The young folks were excited by the prospect of a new temple, while the elders were saddened because the temple will not be as grand as the former. Because of their age they also contemplated the possibility of not being alive to see the temple’s completion. While their incongruent shouts were indistinguishable to listening ears, Pastor Victor tells us that God heard and responded to the blended shouts.

Our preacher has us reminisce about cherished duets’ sweet sopranos paired with tenors and baritones to make beautiful music together. These blended vocal ranges are quite pleasing to our ears. He goes on to have us reflect on these last two years of living in a pandemic, witnessing racial injustice, disastrous weather events, and legislators determined to thwart our nation’s progress toward equality. For some the pandemic has basically left them unfazed, watching their investments grow, working from home, enjoying more family time and long-awaited vacations. Their shouts are filled with joy for they feel they have made it through, even prospering during the pandemic.

Conversely, countless others have suffered the heartbreaking passing of loved ones, ill-health, job and property losses, or economic insecurity during this pandemic-impacted, tumultuous time. Some people are experiencing depressing social isolation, and still others, for example, those in the medical field, essential staff, educators, and caregivers in nursing homes have daily exposure to the virus due to their line of work. They are shouting because of their pain, hardship, feelings of hopelessness and weariness.

My beloved, no matter the source of the shout be very sure that God hears our blended cries of joy and pain. He hears us and He will act in response. The Lord is with us in the dark of night and the light of day. He will see us through every situation. Our struggles, our despair, and our sorrows are no match for the sovereign power of our living God. Praise the Lord at all times for when praises go up blessings do come down. So, raise your voice in a blended shout to the heavens, for God is always listening. God is always moving, and He is doing a new thing.

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Mount Olive Baptist Church

1601 South 13th Road
Arlington, VA 22204