Out of One, Many

many
Newton Fairweather, Pastor, Faith and Joy Church and CBMC Fort Lauderdale Board Chaplin

The lens

One of the greatest wrestling matches you will have is when you try to put pen to paper. Or in my case, it is 4 a.m. when you cannot sleep, and you must write. There are some wrestling matches you must lose. Why? Because it cannot be your will, it must be God’s will. I am certain that some of you have had this experience in whatever lane you are in.

Although my viewpoint on this writing has change over the years, there are still some things that have not changed. The skin that I am in asks to write this story. However, you the reader are a vital part of this story because without you there is no story.

 

His story and your story

Historically, in the greatest country of the world, we have celebrated Black History in the month of February. Yet, it is bigger than just the 28 days of February. I have always felt that it should be celebrated 365 days of the year. One must be proud of who God made them to be. Black history is Human history. It is American history. It is Jewish history. It is Christian history. It is Muslim history. It is Hispanic history. It is Spanish history. It is European history, and it is African history. It is a big tent. We cannot celebrate any of our cultural history without Black history. Where is the evidence? Just start with reading your Bible.

 

The melting pot

Black history is a melting pot that holds all the cultures in it. Woven together like a beautiful robe of many colors, such as the one Jacob gave to Joseph, and no matter how hard the various cultural issues may try to separate us, we can never be separated. We all have a variety of challenges. Those self-imposed lines of history created “Walls of Jericho,” and to this day we are still marching around some of them. The season of this pandemic clearly shows how we are all tied together, particularly in our response to the term “all hands on deck.” The fox hole/silos of just trying to survive have caused us to love God more, while giving us the opportunity to love our neighbors as ourselves. We need each other. For example, we do not care what our first responders look like as we understand that the expression of love, support and care is the same no matter the culture.

 

The fierce urgency

Black history has always spoken to the American consciousness, reminding us all of our responsibility.

Recently I was reading one of Dr. Martin Luther King’s speeches titled “I Have a Dream” given on August 28, 1963. I had read this speech hundreds of times, yet I did not see this point as clearly as I see it now. It was as if I had peeled back another layer of an onion; it was so real. I quote: 

“We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So, we have come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hollowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now.”

The “fierce urgency of now” is what captures my attention. I pondered what he meant then, and what it means now. I also pondered what it means for me and my personal responsibility. This urgency suggests that there is some uncertainty about tomorrow, but today is real. Procrastination is the thief of time and energy. It is an enemy of the urgency of now. The term “fierce urgency of now” is exhibited through the following mindsets:

  1. Challenge the status quo.
  2. Never get stuck in your limitation.
  3. Life is more than just being comfortable.
  4. Be an agent of change.
  5. It is never too late to do the right thing.
  6. The baton is in your hands, and you will have to pass it eventually. What are you passing on?

 

Nothing stays the same

manyIn 1968 America experienced change. Not just a normal change, it was a seismic change. On February 6, 1968, Dr. King stated these words in his speech and little did we know that a few months later he would transition to heaven. Listen to the urgency in his words: 

“On some positions cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience asks the question, is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

God operates often in our hearts and our thoughts. Our thoughts are important to GOD. His Word judges the thoughts and intents of our heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12b-13 NIV) Therefore, we want our actions to be led by God, not my will but thy will be done.

Black history, your history, can be summarized in the following verse: 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 (AMP). “For just as the body is one and yet has many parts, and all the parts, though many, form [only] one body, so it is with Christ. For by one [Holy] Spirit we were all baptized into one body, [spiritually transformed — united together] whether Jews or Greeks (Gentiles), slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one [Holy] Spirit [since the same Holy Spirit fills each life].”

History is a record of how God has done life with us and will continue to do life through us. 

 

Newton Fairweather is the pastor of Faith and Joy Church and the CBMC Fort Lauderdale Board Chaplin.

Read last month’s article by Newton Fairchild at: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/2022-a-change-is-coming/

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