Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. Eugene Sherman
Delivered On
February 11, 2018 at 10:45 AM
Central Passage
Genesis 4- 8-10
Where Is Thy Brother?


Where is Thy Brother?

Where Is Thy Brother? Where Is Thy Brother?
Scripture – Genesis 4:8-10
The month of February is one of four major observations; they
are Valentine Day, Presidents Day, Race Relations Sunday, and
Black History month. Of particular concern today is that of Race
Relations Sunday. It was designated for the 2nd Sunday in
February, a time set aside to rekindle the flame of brotherhood
in the American population.
The notion of Brotherhood Sunday originated with the white
church and it a sort of soul purging service in which the worshipers
could obtain a feeling of relief for their injustices toward Black
People.  In later years, the Black population adopted the practice
of observing this worship, but for a different purpose. It was
intended as a reminder that all is not well on the home front. That
view is yet appropriate for racism, exploitation, injustices, and
inequalities continue to exist in the American society.
Long before the establishment of Brotherhood Sunday, there
occurred an event in which one brother killed another because of
envy.  The reference is to Cain and Abel and this account was

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earlier read as the textual basis of our sermon on this Brotherhood
Sunday. Many years separate that episode from the 21st Century,
but there, are, numerous similarities between that time and today.
However, the scope extends beyond blood relatives and even across
color lines. Our sermon, in this connection, will address some
aspects of this human relationship problem under the subject,
Where Is Thy Brother? It will encompass three considerations
of the subject, namely: types of brothers, interaction with
brothers, and consequences of brotherly love. As background to
this analysis, attention will be focused on three early biblical
brother groups. Each of these groups consisted of just two boys;
the first was Cain and Abel – our textual anchor; the second was
Ishmael and Isaac, and the third duo was Esau and Jacob. In
all three settings, the boys were blood brothers; however, each
group had one boy who took advantage of his brother. Cain was
envious of his brother so he killed Abel; Ishmael was envious of
Isaac so he pestered him and Jacob was envious of Esau so he

p. 3
brother so he stole his birthright. While each of these brother
groups could well anchor a sermon, the emphasis today will be
confined to Cain and Abel. Against this brief section on the
brother types, attention will now be directed to the earlier
defined concerns of the subject – the first of which is types of
brothers.  The first type of brother is that of blood brother; it
consists of two people having the same parents. In the three
examples earlier cited, each of the group consisted of blood
brothers. A second type of brother is that of the Masonic brother.
This group consists of men not necessarily related by blood. Instead,
they are united by some common causes.  They have their rituals,
objectives, and meeting times. Thirdly, there is the fraternity
brother that originated on a college campus. It, too, have
distinguishing characteristics that include: color, hymn, motto,
handshake, and objectives. Fourthly, there is the soul brother –
a title that occurred during the height of the civil rights movement.
It consisted of Afro hair style, African clothing, a slang language,

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and common objectives. There are other brother configurations,
but they are – all – subordinated to the most significant brother
type; it is that of the Christian brother. This type of brother rises
above, color, creed, income level, education, occupation, and all
other distinguishing factors. It is, therefore, found in the biblical
teaching of Jesus who said, whosoever does the will of my Father
who is in heaven, the same is my brother.( Mt.12:50 ) . Against this
biblical fact, attention will now be focused on the second
consideration which is interactions among brothers. It is possible
to categorize brotherly behavior into negative and positive types.
Included among negative behaviors are envy, exploitation, hatred,
and even murder as was reflected in the action of Cain. The
positive action, in contrast, embodies cooperation, respect, sharing,
and prayerfulness, a pattern absent from all of the three types
earlier described.
Before turning to the last consideration, it is felt necessary to
draw a few parallels the Cain and Abel episode and our present
time. Many are the instances in which African Americans have been
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exploited, humiliated, and even killed by members of the white
group. Even more disturbing, however, is the widespread Black on
Black Crime in America. Assaults, rape, robbery, invasive entry,
and murder are but a few indicators of this Cain like behavior.
But beloved, there is a more insidious type of assault in the
professional black class.  It is that of verbal abuse, deliberate
lies, unfair recommendation, and being used by the white
establishment to punish other blacks. Too all such persons,
I call upon them to read the account of Cain, who when God
imposed justice, cried, “My punishment is greater that I can bear”
( Genesis 4:13 ).
In conclusion, let us take a brief look at the consequences
of brotherly love. Our Bible has many teachings on the value of
brotherly love. Psalm 133 states, “Behold, how good and how
sweet it is for brethren to dwell together in unity”. This emphasis
on love is carried into the New Testament as seen in 1st John 4:20.
If a man say, I love God and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he
that loveth not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love
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God whom he hast not seen”. Finally, Our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ has promised to be a friend that sticketh closer than a
brother. Therefore, let each of us, regardless of gender take
comfort in knowing that we have a spiritual brother who knows
and cares about our welfare. Amen.


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