- Written by Rev. Samuel Zimmerman
The "Uplift on Thursday" chapel program is held at the UTS NYC Extension Center every Thursday evening.
Guest: Reverend Dr. Paulette M. Zimmerman
- Pastor Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Inc.
- Executive Assistant to the Executive Director – AIDS Center of Queens County
- National Regional Director – Women ‘N Power – National women’s network
- HIV/AIDS activist
Scripture: Matthew 26: 36-39
Subject: Of Suffering and Sacrifice
Dr. Zimmerman brought an energy and spirituality that was both refreshing and inspiring to those who take advantage of the time of meditation, reflection and communion with others of like-mindedness offered by the Chapel Service.
Dr. Zimmerman defined the term, “nevertheless,” by which she means — inspite of our own hardships and difficulties in life, we must go on and serve the Lord. And the term, “Gethsemane,” meaning “Olive press.” It was a lush garden east of the city of Jerusalem. She then considered Jesus’ purpose for She described how Jesus implored the disciples to “watch with me while I pray” and “sit here while I go and pray.” Jesus knew that He was bound to suffer and sacrifice. coming to the garden, which was to come into the presence of the Father for comfort, and consolation for the passion to come.
The subject was one of importance to each of us that are in ministry for the difficulty that ministry presents today. It is also of importance to those to whom we minister for the difficulty of negotiating life-challenging obstacles. Dr. Zimmerman pointed to people that are smiling through their pain but underneath, they are hurting, wounded, despondent and broken individuals that have learned to put on a good front in the name of being blessed.
The pastor posed some questions to deal with the issues of suffering. Did we cause the suffering? Did we not see it coming? Could it have been avoided? Is it Gods’ way of getting our attention? Some of us ask, “Where did I go wrong?”
Returning to the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus had purposed in His heart to fulfill the prophecy of going to Jerusalem to confront the religious leadership, the cultural context and the problem of sin. His ardency was instructional and informative. The components included: commitment, enthusiasm, purpose, and preparation.
Dr. Zimmerman’s charge and call to action was to those that are broken vessels and to let us know that there is a Balm in Gilead.
“Nevertheless, in spite of your shortcomings, He is expecting your worship, in spite of what you are going through, He is expecting your praise. In spite of your financial challenges, He is expecting your service. In spite of your needs, He is expecting you to minister to the needs of others. In spite of your desire to go back to where you were at another time in your life, He is expecting you to move forward and to lift up His name. Today is the day for you to make your election sure. To stop promising and go to work. You have been sitting here long enough. We should not be hens just keeping the eggs warm, but we should be going into the highways and hedges compelling men and women boys and girls to come. And when we bring them in, we should be prepared to teach them about the goodness of the Lord. God is looking for a change in your attitude. He is waiting for you to bring him a nevertheless — Praise. The road has been rough and the going has been tough, but I say Yes Lord to your Will and your way . . . nevertheless.
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