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Another meaning of Independence Day...

On Tuesday, this Country celebrated the adoption of the Declaration of Independence which led to the birth of the United States.  There were two things I noted about July 4th this year.  First, all across America churches used the occasion to celebrate the freedom and independence of this Country.    I found this a bit odd.  As followers of Christ we know that we are actually called to be dependent on the Holy Spirit and God for our direction.    However, this holiday is all about independence and reliance on self.   I find it fascinating that so many followers of Christ across this land celebrate their own life of self-reliance.  

I also noted my own response to the holiday.  Of course we are celebrating freedom and liberty but the hard truth is that we celebrate a liberty that was only meant for white men.   The ideals of liberty and freedom were revolutionary at the time and remain a beacon of hope for many of those who are oppressed and marginalized.    But those words this year somehow ring a bit hollow to me.  As I thought about this I could not help but reflect on Frederick Douglas's speech which he gave on July 5th in 1852 to a group of abolitionists in recognition of July 4th.  I am including it here because it remains quite compelling in how it captures the strange dichotomy that African Americans find themselves in today.  

What to the slave is the 4th of July?

 

Posted by Dierdra Clark with 2 Comments
Tags: justice

CHRISTMAS – THE SEASON FOR THE REASON OF HOPE

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The elections are over and we are heading into a new year with the uncertainty of what a new government will bring.  But no matter what has happened, who was elected, and our concern as to what the future holds, we are now in a season that we must be thankful and grateful for – that is Christmas, the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

This season reminds us that there is a pregnant future, with the expectation that God is going to intervene, intercede and reconcile.  So we should not let the uncertainty of the moment disengage the expectation of the light and the life that is in Christ, because God is still functioning even under circumstances we may not fully understand.

God is doing more than the rational and so we cannot take the past few months of our political dispensation to negatively rationalize what we deem to be the future of our collective experience as a nation and a people.  Though we may walk through dark valleys, we should not be baptized into a state of materialism, idolatry or false patriotism because the experience of what God has done through the birth of Christ, and what He continues to do since His resurrection, is greater than any one moment in time of our history. 

Therefore, this season of the advent of the birth of Christ should interject an era of hope to know that God’s promise is still being kept in Jesus Christ despite our current uncertainty.

So then, as we go through this season of hope let us also be prepared to walk with, and work with Christ so that our hope is fortified in our faith, and our faith is reflected in our work. 

In this light, we need not only celebrate with songs of praise, but also with songs that reflect the prophetic lyrics of the past that heralded the liberating power of God, when celebrating the birth of Jesus.

This is the celebration we are to have this CHRISTMAS and in it give God all the PRAISE!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Posted by John F. Udochi with 1 Comments

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