Faith of a mustard seed

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

“As early as 1906 W.E.B. Du Bois prophesied that the problem of the 20th century, would be the problem of the color line. Now as we stand two-thirds into this crucial period of history we know full well that racism is still that hound of hell which dogs the tracks of our civilization. Ever since the birth of our nation, White America has had a schizophrenic personality on the question of race. She has been torn between selves. A self in which she proudly professes the great principle of democracy and a self in which she madly practices the antithesis of democracy.” Dr M. L. King, Jr. addressing the National Conference on New Politics in August 1967 on “The Three Evils of Society”.

Psalm 119 holds the place of being the longest chapter in Bible. The heavy weight of this 176 verse Psalm has given it predominance as the prayer of one who delights in and lives by Torah, the ‘sacred law’. In fact the word (God’s) ‘Law’ and it’s numerous synonyms can be seen in almost every verse. Thy (His) Law; His Statutes; His Testimonies; His Ways! His Precepts; His Commandments; His Righteous Ordinances; “Thy Word… have I Hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.”— Vacation Bible School 101. This “Wisdom Book” teaching is unsurpassed in meaning and use for extolling the place of “The Law of God” in this life.

While doing Children’s Ministry at Salem AME Church here in Nashville a couple years back, I set the children on a course of payment for learning to recite scripture. I offered the plan as ‘A Job’ that could be used on their Resume. The prepared ‘Job Description’ given to each child included a $100 Bonus for writing the 119th Psalm ‘on their hearts’; for which comes the ability to ‘speak it’ to others along their life’s journey.

“Ever since the birth of our nation,” King says, “White America has had a schizophrenic personality on the question of race. She has been torn between selves. A self in which she proudly professes the great principle of democracy and a self in which she madly practices the antithesis of democracy.”

W.E.B. Du Boise knew ‘this thing’ and wrote about it; James knew and wrote about it in his scriptural Epistle; and so to, tucked away in this 119th Psalm where ‘if size really matters’, application is here—- in the longest Chapter of Bible. (RSV)Verse 113: “I hate double-minded men, but I love thy law.”

Not so many generations ago, and inSTILLed in the minds of many of the “Demos”/People of America is the “taboo” in “Talking Religion and Politics”. In a public gathering, even when just two converse in the workplace— the ‘comfort level’, the ‘trust factor’ is lost at the very mention of “Religion and/or Politics”. The result is the “Demos”/People having LOST OUR “Cracy/Rule”… turned over, taken, stolen by men whom we ‘elect’… to rule AND… “We just DON’T… know about it, think or TALK ABOUT IT”!

The ‘Value System’ is what’s at stake. Most particularly when ‘The Principles” of The Nation are established to guarantee Freedom (including Religion) and Justice to ALL (hu)MEN. Except, if your race is Black, we will make ‘law’ that you are only 3/5th human. Except if you are Muslim… we will make ‘law’…

“For the good of America”, King continues, “it is necessary to refute the idea that the dominant ideology in our country, even today, is freedom and equality while racism is just an occasional departure from the norm on the part of a few bigoted extremists.”
by email: mustardseedfaith@outlook.com