GM: ALL OF GOD’S PROMISES AND PLANS ARE FULFILLED IN CHRIST JESUS
Chris Gayle’s controversial, and in my view, outrageous, and explicit attempt at propositioning a female Australian reporter ( invited her out for a drink) in full view of millions of people, does not define us (Jamaicans) as a people.
Neither did the bloody ‘ reign’, and predictable end (locked up in an American jail) of ‘ President’, Tivoli Don and convicted drug kingpin Christopher ‘ ‘Dudus’ Coke, define us as a people.
Perhaps in the same way that the outrage and xenophobia associated with #DonaldTrumpIllegalMigrantsareRapists campaign does not define the American people
For that matter, the exploits and fame of even our superstars, dead and alive, Bob Marley and Usain Bolt, although they have made the country popular and strengthened, and some would even say, created, ‘ Brand Janaica’, do not define who we are as a people.
For me, what defines us as a people, is not the alarmingly high murder rate, unacceptable levels of indiscipline, ill mannered and uncouth behavior, causing so much pain and confusion in a society, which on the face of it, depending on which narrative you follow, seems to be operating without any moral compass. But rather the huge resevoir of goodness still present in our people, on account of the teachings and practice of ordinary humble parents and grandparents, who ‘ in the fear’ of a Loving Father God, and gratitude to a Saviour, ‘ tek de case Puppa Jesus’, laid the foundations, which has allowed our country to survive and even flourish in the most difficult of circumstances.
So how did I get there on a morning when I really didn’t plan to write a message?.
Last night this Word came into my head. At least the part that speaks to ‘ pray for the city, for if the city flourishes, you too will flourish’.
A Word that validates the understanding that many advocate: salvation is not personal alone but finds a greater fulfilment in community. In that context, the Biblical teaching that, ‘ we are our brother’s keeper’, and which guides our nation’s desire to eliminate murder and violence, finds inspiration, and makes sense. In that context, the story of the Good Samaritan becomes ‘ real’. In that context the ‘ prosperity gospel’ is exposed as an impostor and interloper, attempting to dilute God’s plan for His Commununity of Faith.
But this Word for my beleaguered, confused and confusing land of my birth, beset with so many ills, yet alive with so much good and potential for greatness as a people, carries more than an instruction, but thanks be to God, a Word of Hope. That the same plans that a Loving God, had and has for His Chosen People, The Children of Israel, punished on account of rank disobedience, are the same plans that He, a Loving God, has for my people, who deep in our souls, ‘ fear God’. And all nations who fear The Living God! Despite the outward and egregious manifestations of evil which greet us daily in both the electronic and print media, and lately, social media, to which this ‘ blog’ makes a humble and inspired contribution.
For the plans Father God has for us, ‘ are plans to prosper us, and not to destroy’. And that Plan is Jesus and Him Crucified on Calvary. Full stop! There is none other.
And then, and only then, when we acknowledge, ‘ with all our repented hearts’, that God has rescued us in Christ Jesus, will we be ‘ found by God’. And have peace in our troubled land.
THE WORD OF GOD
http://bible.com/111/jer.29.4-14.niv This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:
“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease.
Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” ……..
This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord , “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord , “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
And then words of this profoundly important song came into my head during my sleep.
People need the Lord. For real! Like very seriously! Not just Chris Gayle and ‘Dudus’. Everybody. And the Australian reporter too. And Maria Sharapova. And Oral Tracy a popular sports journalist in Jamaica ( ‘ Many of of us owe our very existence to inappropriate behavior’) Seriously! On public television #TVJ #AllAngles #djmiller