“… delivering you from the people and from the Gentiles— to whom I send you to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” (Acts 26:17-18). More ‘Faith’ in Acts.
My mother had a very heavy heart. She had triple by-pass heart surgery and again, twenty years later had quadruple by-pass. What exactly was in her heart, she never revealed, taking it all to her grave. 2020 has caused The Heart of America’s People to be heavier than I have ever seen or felt before.
Reminiscent for me as a personal experience, is the year 2009 with the loss of Four lives in my family in a month of time. Do not continue to count God as a God of ‘3 death’ theory— whereas, God Is Sovereign.
The word ‘incarnate’ is one that is heard most during the Christmas season. Of Latin origin, the term was used by 4th century Church Fathers to give expression and definition to an already much debated concept of scripture, John 1:14 where The ‘logos sarx’— The ‘Word became Flesh’ and tabernacled… dwelled, lived, had being among us. Where the scriptural ‘sarx/flesh’ would take us back into Biblical history, it’s Latin ‘caro/carnal’ moves us into the Church’s formulation of ‘The Incarnation’ as doctrine and dogma. This Acts text mirrors the John 1 text in that John speaks of this Word being ‘Light’ and in Him is ‘Life’.
In October-November 2009 I gave words of life and comfort at services for the homegoing celebrations of my cousin, Russell Magby; my niece, Lora Williams McCarver; and my brother Sidney ‘Asher’ Greenwood. But it is from this text that the incarnation of the word weighs heaviest in my heart as a eulogy, a ‘word of life’ to “the people and from the Gentiles— to whom I send you to open their eyes”— in the life of my grand-niece Tishana Williams Culver; who at the age of 31 is counted among the 11 black women found murdered in the home of Anthony Sowell (a trained Marine, a black man trained to kill by stealth, by night, and dropped back into the streets of an unknowing, unsuspecting community with no further purpose or use for life)— on Imperial Ave in Cleveland, OH.
Although the unfolding story of this travesty was pre-empted in the national news by the Fort Hood shootings, it is a story, like Jonestown, that will never go away for the religious community. It raises innumerable questions of (hu)man(ity). The occupation of FRONT PAGE in the Cleveland PlainDealer.com and now, the subject of an “Inside The Mind Of a Serial Killer” series as not just the Church Leaders but the Politicians wrestled with this inhumanity.
The numbers of the deaths counted in 2020 is just a portion of the ‘Heavy Heart” now present in this nation. What we have come to know as “The Pandemic”, this Covid 19 virus that has claimed thousands of lives; compounded not only by the Police murders of countless Black Americans in the streets of this Nation, but the senseless and most often inhumane treatment of these individuals which lead to their demise… with No Justice in view! The massive Protests across the Nation with the outright total and complete disregard for the “First Amendment Rights” of The People —in BOTH ISSUE, not simply the “Right to Protest”; but most crucially the Shut Down of the “Voice of The Church with the acceptance of this “ban to cyberspace!”
In 2009 I took count of the number of children left motherless and in many cases already fatherless who are now demanded by life to— Live! Most specifically to identify my great-grand nieces and nephews, all 8 of whom were still children in 2009. Now in 2020 their heartless struggles to someHOW make a ‘productive life’ go unheard and unseen in what has become a “Pandemic of A Thirst for Power.”
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