My daughter does not, but my sons make me cry. With her everything is new. I have never been a young girl wanting time with her father. I never asked my dad to sing me a song, dance with me, or come to a ballet performance. My boys disorient me. Every request is tinged with memory. Today my son stood in front in his school for a Christmas play. He scanned the audience as youth are wont to do. He was looking for his dad. In the days and weeks leading up to his performance, he had reminded me time and again. Friday 10 am. I was there, but I was also in Huntsville, Alabama scanning the crowd for my father. I could not find him. So there are tears, but they are gospel tears. Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! Sometimes it feels like all the prophecies of restoration are happening in my home in a moment. I can’t speak on how you obtained your family, but Jesus gave me mine.
Outkast and Goodie Mob raised me. As a teenager my life goal was the acquisition of a Cadillac. Atlanta was my promised land. True fandom is hard to explain. It comes when the music of an artist so articulates the sounds and feel of your community that it seems as if they grew up next to you. Outkast did not represent the south; they were the south.
In high school their articulation of our struggles made me feel like I wasn’t alone. As a got older, I needed less and less articulation of the sickness and more prescriptions for a cure. To be honest, I almost never listen to secular hip hop any more.
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. -Collect for the second Sunday of Advent
The second Sunday of Advent often receives the title “The Sunday of the prophets.”The collect for this day draws our attention to the Old Testament messengers who carried their “thus saith the Lord” throughout Judah and Israel. The prophet’s message of repentance stood as a testimony to God’s vision for the just society. But what exactly did the prophets tell Israel to repent of? It is easy to focus on their condemnation of personal sin: lust, dishonesty, idolatry, gluttony. There is a certain comfort in being rebuked for these sins. The church, at least for now, still recognizes these things as wrong. The pastor who speaks the truth plainly gets to feel prophetic; the congregation gets castigated for not doing what we know we ought to do. Everybody wins.
A quick glimpse at what the prophets said complicates things.Continue reading “Eric Garner and the Sunday of the Prophets”
Thank you for taking the time to look in on this little corner of the web. If you return you can expect to encounter posts about New Testament scholarship, Anglicanism, and whatever else seems worthy of comment. I experience the world as a African-American Christian. This blog will reflect that reality.