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Welcome to the JCPC Daily Reflections Blog. Reflections are daily devotionals authored by JCPC pastors, staff and members and provide insight, guidance and comfort to help you make it through each day. If you’d like to receive Reflections each day via email,  provide your email address.

Friday, January 15 2021

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
-Proverbs 3:5


African American spirituals are a uniquely American form of music, born out of the hardships of slavery and the hope of Christianity. Often times, their religious symbolism represent not only a hope for salvation but also a hope for freedom. It has also been speculated that some of these songs contain coded messages to help escaping slaves find freedom via the Underground Railroad.

Another form of music that we associate with African American Christians is gospel music, and "Precious Lord, Take My Hand", a gospel hymn, is our sending hymn for this week. As it turns out, this was supposedly Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s favorite song, and it was sung at his untimely funeral.

"Through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light.

Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home."

It is fitting for a funeral, and it's a sentiment I'm sure many of us can relate to. Life is hard, and when we've reached the end of our earthly lives, we want to reach out for the hand of our precious Lord. This is something we can all understand.

But there's a lot we can't understand. The struggle isn't yet over for so many of our fellow Americans who suffer under the weight of racism. As a white American, it is hard, if not impossible, for me to understand just how deeply the dark tendrils of racism wrap themselves around the lives of its victims. I think part of working to solve the racism in our country is to first admit that maybe we don't understand. We can be quick to judge and act as if racism is a problem self-perpetuated by those who claim to be oppressed. But that stems from our desire to resolve that which we cannot understand. The great divides in our country will never be resolved if we continue to try to rationalize our lack of understanding in our own terms. The well-known verse from Proverbs above is relevant to every conversation. How can you become a channel of God's peace by striving to understand rather than being understood?


Prayer for Today

God of silent tears, hear the cries of the oppressed. Give us an open heart to listen without judgement when we do not understand. Bring all of your children together under your banner to face the rising sun of a new day and march onward until we can overcome racism and oppression. Amen.

Posted by: AT 01:55 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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