Our World Belongs to God 31
It was good to be together in worship yesterday as we completed our observances of Eastertide, then the Sundays of Ascension-Pentecost-Trinity.
This week we begin with Paragraph 31 of "Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony."
Paragraphs 1-6: Preamble (April 11-29)
Paragraphs 7-12: Creation (April 30-May 8)
Paragraphs 13-17: Fall (May 11-15)
Paragraphs 18-22:Redemption (May 18-22)
Paragraphs 23-27: Jesus Christ (May 25-29)
Paragraphs 28-30: Holy Spirit (June 1-2, 5)
Paragraphs 31-33: Revelation (June 8-10)
Paragraph 31 (Today)
God gives this world
many ways to know him.
The creation shows his power and majesty.
He speaks through prophets, poets, and apostles,
and, most eloquently, through the Son.
The Spirit, active from the beginning,
moved human beings to write the Word of God
and opens our hearts to God’s voice.
[For general revelation, see Romans 1 and Acts 14; for the inspiration of the Bible, see 2 Timothy 3:14-17 and 2 Peter 1:16-21; and for the full revelation in Christ, see Hebrews 1 and Colossians 1.]
God speaks to us authoritatively and eloquently through his Son, Jesus, so we must pay attention to his words that we may closely follow. Having said that, Paragraph 31 is more about the variety of ways we may know God and hear his voice. I am particularly interested in the sentence, "He speaks through prophets, poets, and apostles." We all know what it is to hear the wisdom of God in the counsel of a friend. Many of us have heard the voice of God through a poem or song, whether old or new. Do we likewise hear the voice of God through people rising up and calling for justice?
In the present worldwide chorus for an end to racial injustice, which voices speak loudly to you? Which ones will you amplify? Are they prophetic voices from the past like Martin Luther King Jr., or current voices? Which poets, artists and songwriters help you know God's heart?
Alice and Dorothy must have presupposed today's question, because they suggested today's song which is Jedediah Ben-Israel's version of "Lift Every Voice and Sing." Here is their summary of the song: "Very briefly: It was written in 1900 by James Wendell Johnson and subsequently set to music by his brother. Adopted by the NAACP in 1919 as 'The National Negro Hymn', it is now referred to as the Black National Anthem. It was quoted at Obama’s 2009 inauguration, has been sung by many artists, and……it is even in our red hymnbook!"
Anyone who attempts to write daily knows the temptation to try and say something profound, so let me be clear: it is not my voice you need to hear. This blog is only a conduit. We need to be listening to the people who do not enjoy the privileges of the majority, to hear what God is saying through them.
"Lord, cause us to hear your voice in the voices of the those suffering discrimination! We want to know your heart, Lord."
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you" (2 Corinthians 13:13).
PS - Today's question is, which voices speak prophetically to you today regarding the call to end racial injustice? Which Scriptures speak to you on this subject? And most importantly, which words of Jesus speak to you on behalf of the oppressed? I'd love to hear your suggestions.
PSS - You can read the CRCNA statement and World Renew message on the cry for justice by clicking the respective links.