GM: O GOD HAVE MERCY FOR OPEN SHAME IS UPON US
A few nights ago, during an unscheduled power outage, evil men committed a dastardly crime; shot and killed a well known and elderly businessman in a rural community. And so once again, a nation mourned.
Then this morning, I opened the Bible, randomly, and Daniel spoke a Word across the ages to our situation.
THE WORD OF GOD
” I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying,
Ah, Lord, great and awesome God, keeping covenant and steadfast love with those who love you and keep your commandments, we have sinned and done wrong, acted wickedly and rebelled, turning away from your ordinances. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.
Righteousness is on your side, O Lord, but open shame, as of this day. falls on us, the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery they have committed against you.
Daniel 9:4-7 NRSV
And ” open shame “, which Daniel used twice in his prayer, reverberated on my head. Open shame! Open shame!
For that’s exactly what has been on display in this country. For years now! Sam Sharpe country! He who taught the slaves about equality with slave owners, in the sight of God. He who taught, as a Baptist Deacon, about the love of God in Christ Jesus. He who paid the ultimate price in pursuit of justice and freedom.
In the same way, the people of the USA owe so much to the early settlers who were Christians fleeing Europe to escape persecution. So America is not ” Wall Street” country, nor a Jewish controlled country, nor Donald Trump’s country, but God’s country. And my God how they have strayed!
So we owe so much to The Living Word of God, Jesus Christ. And therefore Jamaica is God’s country. Not JLP nor PNP country. Not Bob Marley’s country nor Peter Tosh. Not the country of #Sub19UsainBolt or #RealShellyAnn. And thank God definitely not Prince’s country #MayhissoulRIP. But God’s country.
And Open Shame is the cry. How we have molested our young children! How we have disrespected our women; our mothers and grandmothers. And equally so, how they have disrespected themselves. With their ‘ open nakedness’. With what often escape from their lips. And with how they ‘ carry on” in the streets. I won’t even ‘ go there’ with the lady caught on #TVJ declaring allegiance to her party, and willingness to sacrifice. Literally! For that sounds like pure hype.
Open shame in how we have pledged allegiance to party, to leaders and to promises. Open shame in how have ‘ worshiped’ Dons, Entertainers, our Sports Stars and Cultural Icons but failed to pledge allegiance to ‘ The Lamb of God’.
Open shame in how some fathers have neglected their children and their mothers. Open shame in how some young and not so young women, are doing exactly what the men are doing.
Open shame in how we have disrespected and ignored the Church, sacred places of worship, and sacred days. And open shame in how some of us, in the Church, are doing precisely what unbelievers are doing. Sometimes with impunity. As if God wears pyjamas! And open shame in how, we who have been rescued by the Blood of Jesus, have become so lukewarm, so grudging in how we give, so calculating in how we serve, and so reluctant in we share the good news of The Gospel with others
And so the land mourns. In the same way that Hosea, the Prophet who wrote the book that follows Daniel, prophesied.
Hear the word of the Lord,
O people of Israel ( of Jamaica)…..
There is no faithfulness or loyalty,
and no knowledge of God in the land.
Swearing, lying and murder,
and stealing and adultery break out;
bloodshed follows bloodshed.
Therefore the land mourns.
Hosea 4:1-4 NRSV.
Then this morning I heard about a motor vehicle crash in which a motorcyclist died. And the cronies of the dead man, allegedly proceeded to murder the driver of the vehicle.
And so the land mourns!
What is to be done? #Danielgodsurelywilldeliver had a Word.
” Incline your ear, O my God, and hear. Open your eyes and look at our desolation and the city which bears your name. We do not present our supplications before you, on the ground of our righteousness, but on the ground of your great mercy.
O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord , listen and act and do not delay! For your city and your people bear your name. “.
May the Lord hear our cry, as we turn and pray for mercy.
Then the words of Psalm 61 entered my mind:
http://bible.com/111/psa.61.1-3.niv Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.