Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
February 8, 2015 at 10:45 AM
Where is thy Brother?
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. Sunday February 8, 2015
Where is thy Brother?
“And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? “Gen 4:9".
The month of February is observed as Black History 
Month. It includes three historic events which are Race 
Relations Sunday, Negro History Week, and now Black 
History Month. In keeping with the tradition of planning 
a sermon to encompass the focus of these three events, 
the sermon for today has been entitled, Where is thy 
brother? This is the question that God asked Cain who had 
earlier killed his brother, Abel. The sermon will include the 
following dimensions, namely: the origin of Race Relations 
Sunday and Black History Month, brotherhood within the 
family, and brotherhood within two social contexts, a 
program to help homeless boys and a recommendation 
for protestant preaching. 
Since the word brotherhood is the undergirding 
concept in the three inquiries, it is deemed appropriate to 
give brief attention to the word brother. From the biological 
perspective, brother denotes a male to is related to another 
by common parentage. In the event that the two persons 
have a different parent, the concept then become half 
brother. There can also be a setting in which the male 
shares neither blood of the father nor mother but was 
adopted by them; he therefore becomes an adopted brother 
to any children owned by the family. 
There are several families with blood brothers 
recorded in the Bible. Some of them include: Cain and Abel - 
the anchor of today’s sermon; Esau and Jacob, Moses and 
Aaron, but not Ishamel and Isaac who were half-brothers 
because they had different mothers but the same father, 
Having briefly discussed some aspects of the word 
brother, attention will now be directed to the earlier 
specified dimensions, the first of which is - the origin of 
Race Relations Sunday and Black History Month. 
The Federal Council of Churches, was founded in 1908, 
and it initiated Race Relations Sunday in 1922, an imitative 
for churches to focus the second Sunday in February to 
practice and teach goodwill and love for all mankind 
without racial limitation. Additional, pastors were urged 
to preach a sermon on justice and brotherhood. Hence, the 
designation, Race Relations Sunday, became a designation 
for the Second Sunday in February. 
The second part of this first dimension is that of Negro 
History Week. The first Negro History Week was held the 
second week in February in 1926. It was organized by Carter 
G. Woodson who viewed it as a week to informed the public 
of significant contributions that Negro Americans had made 
for the country. The selected week embraced the birthday of 
two prominent persons whose life impacted the Negro 
population; they were Abraham Lincoln ( 12th ) and Frederick 
Douglas ( 14th ). 
The expansion of Black History Week to Black History 
Month occurred in 1976 as part of the United States 
Bicentennial and was sanctioned by President Ford who 
urged, to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often 
neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every 
area of endeavor throughout our history”. This synopsis 
of Race Relations Sunday and Black History Month leads 
to the second aspect of the subject which is - brotherhood 
within the family. 
Although brotherhood by blood relation is the closest 
type by kinship and should embody admiration, cooperation, 
and mutual interest. Unfortunately, such a mutually behavior 
is often not the case dating back to some Old Testament 
families. Two of the incidents selected for this sermon 
are Esau and Jacob and Cain and Abel. Chronologically, 
they occurred in the reversed order but are herein presented 
in the order of least to most sever consequences. Hence, 
the Esau and Jacob episode did not end in death whereas 
the Cain and Abel interaction became the first murder in 
biblical history. 
Now to the analysis - In his closing years, Isaac called 
Esau and requested him to make some venison that he 
might eat before his impending death. Rebekah overheard 
the request and the promised blessing from Isaac . She 
secretly planned for Jacob to deceive his father and receive 
the blessing. It was successful and Jacob received the 
blessing. Later Esau returned with the venison only to find 
that his brother had preempted him. His anger arose and 
planned to kill Jacob after the death and mourning of his 
father. In the meantime, Rebekah had arranged for Jacob 
to take residence with his brother. The story continues but 
is not herein included, but can be found in Genesis 27 @ 28. 
The second brother configuration involved the first 
family in biblical history. It is that of Cain and Abel. It is 
recorded in Genesis 4: 1-15. Home highlight include - In 
keeping with the religious practice of the time, each of the 
boys carried an offering unto the Lord. Cain’s offering was 
marginal or less that the best while Abel’s offering was 
of the best. Genesis 4:1 provides a narrative of God’s 
response to the brothers’ offerings. It states that the 
Lord had respect unto Abel’s offering while he had not 
respect for Cain’s offering. The Bible, further, indicates 
that Cain was very wroth and his countenance fell. 
( Gen. 4:5 ). 
Sensing Cain’s anger, the Lord posed the question, 
“Why art thou wroth and why is thy countenance fallen? 
God, then reminded Cain that he had brought the 
rejection upon himself. In response to his uncontrollable 
anger, Cain chose to eliminate Abel, his brother; he, 
therefore murdered his brother. Later the Lord asked 
Cain, “ Where is Abel, thy brother?” Cain lied and asked 
“Am I my brother’s keeper?” The Lord told his that the 
voice of his brother’s blood crieth unto him from the 
ground. Additionally, Cain was told that he would be 
a fugitive and a vagabond for the rest of his life. Cain 
uttered, my punishment is greater that I can bear. 
This presentation on the two different families of 
brothers will now shift to the last dimension of the 
sermon which is - a program to assist homeless boys and 
a recent recommendation for protestant preaching. The 
first initiative was started by Father Edward J. Flanagan 
in 1917 in Nebraska and the named the facility Boys 
Town. The facility was An organization known for its work 
with troubled children is aiming to expand community-based 
services across Nebraska. Father Flanagan devised a 
compassionate funding raising stamp usually mailed during 
the Christmas Season. It featured on boy caring another on 
his back with a statement underneath, “He’s not heavy, 
Father, he is my brother”. Beloved, that type of compassion 
is needed in our family, neighborhood, schools, and 
especially, the political arena. The second component of 
this last dimension is a recommendation found in recent 
copy of the Arkansas Democrat. Therein is found an article 
entitled, Protestant leaders preach integration. The chair 
of the Southern Baptist’s Ethics and Religious Liberty 
Commission wrote, “In the church, a black Christian and a 
white Christian are brothers and sisters. He continued, 
“we care what happens to the other, because when one 
part of the Body hurts, the whole Body hurts...”. This is 
certainly a Christian based assertion and it merits 
prayer and implementation in the Body of Christ. Amen! 

Beloved Readers - This posting was delayed owing to my travel disruption. 
Blessings! EGSJ
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