Bishop Vashti McKenzie in Little Rock for Raney Preaching Series

Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, presiding prelate of the 10th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, preaches during April 2 worship at Pulaski Heights UMC Little Rock.

Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church’s T.J. and Inez Raney Preaching Series in early April welcomed Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie as its 2017 guest. McKenzie serves as the presiding prelate of the 10th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church; in 2000, she became the first woman to be elected and consecrated as bishop in that denomination. Her latest book, The Big Deal of Taking Small Steps to Move Closer to God, will be available this month.

McKenzie preached the evening of April 1 on speaking truth to power, with 1 Corinthians 14:8 as her guiding Scripture. During 11:00 worship the next day, after reading from Mark 5:21-34 and 1 Peter 4:12-13, she preached on God’s power to create sudden and powerful change. Like the woman who was healed by touching the hem of Jesus’ garment, we all have hope for a divinely driven turnaround.

“No matter how deep the water or the depth of the muck and mire of politics, no matter, there is nothing impossible with God,” she said. “No matter how tense the environment, there is nothing impossible with God. No matter how crazy the situation in our digital landscape that steals more of our personal privacy every day, there is nothing impossible with God.”

McKenzie pointed out that we should never give up hope for an answer or solution from God.

“This woman demonstrates to us that we should never give up too soon,” she said. “That’s what 1 Peter tells us: Don’t jump to conclusions that Jesus is too busy to come see about you, or that you can’t ever reach out to the Lord. Isn’t that what Peter said, friends, when life gets difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Don’t be fooled. God is still at work. You may not be able to see it, but God is working behind the scenes of your life with glory just around the corner. Maybe, just maybe, what you can’t change is really meant to change you.… Maybe you’re waiting on God, but maybe God is waiting on you.”