every tribe tongue nation post

Every Tribe, Tongue, and Nation

Our hearts our heavy with the evil that took place in the murder of George Floyd last week. We have seen expression of anger in the US and in our own country and this message does need to be heard. Unfortunately, we have seen more acts of evil done as people have been attacked and business burned and destroyed. To cry for justice is good – to act unjustly is not.

For those of us who are black or who have family members who are black, this has hit close to home. We are concerned for either ourselves or family members when they go out. We hope they are treated fairly and not differently because of the colour of their skin. Even though we want to protect them, we know they will hear the message that they do not belong here.

Black Africans have been very involved in God’s plan of redemption. The terms “Cush” or “Cushite” occur in the Hebrew Bible more than 50 times. In English Bibles it’s often translated as “Cush,” but sometimes as “Nubia” or “Ethiopia.” Cush was a powerful Black African kingdom located along the Nile River just to the south of Egypt.

The black Cushites were active in the political scene of the ancient world. The Cushites even controlled Egypt during the time of Isaiah, and helped Jerusalem when they fought against the Assyrians. Later, the Black African Ebedmelech saved the prophet Jeremiah and symbolizes the inclusion of future Gentiles who will come to God by faith (Jeremiah 38-39).

In the New Testament, this region is usually referred to as “Ethiopia,” even though it differs from modern Ethiopia. The “Ethiopian Eunuch” in Acts 8 was a Black African from this region along the Nile River, south of Egypt. He was the first non-Jewish believer in the New Testament. Isn’t that amazing – the first non-Jewish person to become a Christian was a black man!

Paul tells us that in the church, believers form a brand new humanity. The old barrier of hostility between ethnic groups has been demolished by the cross, and now all peoples are one in Christ. This means that Christians of other races are not equal to us, they are joined to us spiritually. George Floyd was our Christian brother, and we must allow ourselves to hurt with him.

I leave you with this prayer today! Perhaps it is something you want to take the time to say quietly today before God, or even say it every day for a week. Use it and adapt it in way that is helpful for you.

LORD, HAVE MERCY!
God we cry out to today with our pain, hurt, and confusion. When you made the world you said it was good, but know when we look we see how far we have fallen. There is murder in the place of justice, unrest in the place of peace, and despair in the place of hope.

Lord have mercy!

We were made to live in Paradise, but now we live in jungle overgrown with hate and terror. God, how far we have fallen from what you desired for us. We have made many choices to live autonomous from you, and now we reap the consequences of those choices.

Lord, have mercy!

I pray that you will help us not to be proud. Help us not to say that if we had lived in a different time or place then we would have done things differently. We know that there is evil in all of our hearts that can only be changed through the power of the cross and the Holy Spirit.

Lord, have mercy!

God, I ask that you will help us not to be colour blind. God, you have created us all in your image as equals, but you also created us with diversity. We need to be colour smart, not colour blind, and recognize your good design. Give us the humility to listen and learn from each other.

Lord, have mercy!

We thank you, God, that the good news of Jesus is for all nations. Jesus died for every skin colour and ethnic group in this world. Today you are calling people to yourself from every tribe, tongue, and nation. We are blessed when we worship with those who are different than us.

Lord, have mercy!

We thank you that we will praise you in colour for all of eternity. You give us a picture in Revelation of a diverse group of people worshipping together around the throne of Jesus Christ. We will spend eternity in a new creation filled with people of all backgrounds and colours.

We ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen.