Of Protests in Charlotte, Madness in Montego Bay, Sin and Repentance 

​GM: Of Madness in  Charlotte and Montego Bay, and of Sin and Grace 

“Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct?

No, they have no shame at all, they do not even know how to blush”. Jeremiah 6:12
Which people was the Prophet Jeremiah talking about ?
White racists in the USA, and we thank God that all white folks are not like that,  who until now,  regard black people as inferior,  and which historical reality is the genesis of #CharlotteProtests. And not whether or not it was a black police officer who pulled the trigger, or whether the video filmed by his wife was ‘ inconclusive ‘. For Charlotte is a metaphor for the pain black folks feel for the years of brutality meted out to them by racist elements in the police force; some of whom don’t even know how to blush at their wickedness.
Young, rich,  and heartless scammers in Montego Bay Jamaica ( far removed from Young Gifted and Black),  who ‘ fight over their filthy lucre’, and cause mayhem to explode in the midst of our major tourist city. A behavior born out of a culture of wanton criminality which has been allowed to fester, if not aided and abetted by powerful forces, for far too long in my once tranquil and beautiful country. Now populated by far too many ‘ dog hearted gunmen’, who do not even know how to blush.
Consider in this mix, pedophiles, modern day human trafficking, the horrors of the African Slave Trade,  ISIS, the ‘ killing fields in Cambodia’, Genocide in Rwanda,  the Holocaust; all carried out by people who didn’t and don’t even know how to blush.
And as a Family Doctor who has treated rape victims and wives and partners,  who have been physically and emotionally abused by men who don’t even know to blush, the pain these folks feel only God can comfort.
So as the song says, ‘ what’s this all about ‘. Remember Lazarus and Dives; the rich man who,  in the famous Bible story ignored the suffering pauper at his gate. ” Even the dogs locked his sores”.

And then they both died and went separate places. One to the ‘ bosom’ of Father Abraham in heaven, the other to a place of eternal suffering.

So the rich man in hell, pleads for his brothers; that they might be ‘soared his fate by the now dead pauper,  living in glory, going and giving them 

a warning.
Then comes the heart of the Gospel reading in my church for tomorrow.

” They have the Law and the Prophets, if they ( his brothers)  don’t listen to them,  then not even if someone rises from the dead ( and we since Jesus told the story we know who He talking about) will they listen. Luke 16:19-31
I have read this story so many times, but this time in context; in association with the verses which proceeded it.

And the revelation came that ‘ if we don’t know how miserable sinners we are, and  repent – don’t even know how to blush – we can never love Jesus to the point where we are prepared to ‘ die to self, and follow Him to ‘ the Cross where he died’. 
For anything else, any other doctrine, has no power to change the hearts of wicked policemen in USA nor wicked gunmen in Jamaica. Whether or not we call out the army or engage in protests marches!
Then the strains of this song come into my heart:
I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,

  And it told Thy love to me;

But I long to rise in the arms of faith,

  And be closer drawn to Thee.

 

Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

  To the cross where Thou hast died;

Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

    To Thy precious, bleeding side.
For as I pondered on the fact that Sin caused God to be ‘ sorry He made mankind’ and was about to destroy the entire human race, but for Noah, who He found to be Righteous. A people whose  every inclination of their heart was to do evil. Genesis 6:5.
That Sin provoked The Holy One of Israel, The God of Jacob to send  His people, repeatedly into exile, destroying the very Temple which Solomon build for Him. The very people whom He rescued, with a mighty hand, from slavery in Egypt. And who within days, without even blushing exchanged the glory of God for a idol made of gold. Which is the reason why Jeremiah spoke as he did.
That,  in a nutshell,  is the sordid history of mankind, which you will not hear about on CNN nor read about in the New York Times. But which has come to us from the Law and the Prophets. And explains ‘ Montego Bay Madness ‘ which provoked a front page Editorial from The Daily Gleaner; and  Charlotte Protests which provoked the ‘blow by blow’ coverage by CNN.
That’s why King David, after committing one of the most egregious sins in all of history, combining adultery with conspiracy to murder, when confronted, ” blushed” and repented. And then gave the world the wonderful gift of Psalm 51, which contains the most instructive prayer of all times:
“Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me”. 51:10
I pray God, that all of us may learn well the message from Father Abraham, as told by Jesus, and consider well this issue of Sin. For the Word of God tells us that :
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2. Corinthians 7:10.
So there is a reason why we are known as Judeo-Christians. For we are called to reflect deeply on the events of the Old Testament, as written by the ‘ law and the prophets’.
Otherwise we will sing ” Your grace and mercy, brought me through”, and even ” Amazing Grace…that saved a wretch like me”, and yet not be prepared to ‘ die to self and follow Christ’ wherever He leads us, ‘ even to suffering and persecution ‘.
For only when we are fully  ‘ convicted of Sin’, can we really follow Christ. And help to rid,  our country, with the  power of The Living God,  of murderous scammers and racists. And rapists and spouse abusers and deceivers! 

Peace

Seven dead in One Day: Lord have Mercy 

​GN: 7 Murders in 1 Day, and Rescue from Death in 3 Hours 
Correction: #7 persons murdered… 1 person… was killed on Deanery Road in Kgn… not two as earlier reported.

This tweet above,  from a journalist,  says it all; why my soul was so troubled this week. Seven persons murdered in my country in one day. And it could have been eight!  The even more troubling thing is that such cumulative acts of  egregious wickedness on one day,  did not draw that much attention. Not in mainstream media. Not on Social Media. And not a whole lot from the authorities either!

I suspect, but may be wrong, that a worthwhile debate on #unkemptJa,  triggered by the exclusion of a three year old boy child from a preparatory school on account of his ‘ hairstyle’, brought out more passion and comment than #7Murdersin1day.
So as I pondered on this continued madness, the following  song became my partner:
O Jesus, I have promised 

to serve thee to the end:

be thou ever near me, 

my Master and my friend;

I shall not fear the battle

if thou art by my side,

nor wander from the pathway

if thou wilt be my guide……verse one.
For it is very clear that we are in a battle for the soul of this nation.
Then a verse which is the text for a sermon I am preparing to preach at my church this Sunday,  offered a perspective on the ” pathway” our Lord expects to trod in this #RescueMission.
” There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over the righteous who need no repentance”. Luke 15:1-10.

Then came the challenging Word!
” How beautiful are the feet that bring good news”. Romans 10.
So now we have the answer! For it is not the talk show hosts who Jesus expects to be ‘ in the battle ‘ to rescue or nation. Nor the PSOJ – the private sector leaders. Not the human rights body, Jamaicans for Justice. Nor any NGO, however powerful and well intentioned. And not even our Political Leaders, even though they have a clearly defined, and thus accountable to God, role to play. But rather ‘ the beautiful feet who carry the good news’ of Salvation.

 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is that,  ‘ if you confess with your lips that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.’
And truly Saved, people who have repented and Baptized will not kill and rape and main and do all kinds of evil.

The kind of evil which has caused so much heartache for us who live here, and for those who love this place dearly, but live abroad.
This then is the high calling of the Church, the body of Christ. A called out people who have ‘ promised to follow Jesus, our Master and our friend, to the very end’.
So we have no business being distraught and hopeless about #7Murdersin1day. But rather to be constant in prayer for Jesus to be with us in the  battle for the soul of our blessed country.
Finally a word about prayer. From a book entitled:

Prayer: Experiencing Awe an Intimacy with God.

Extract:
” There are three basic kinds of prayer to God….” upward” prayer – praise and thanksgiving that focuses on God himself…..prayer of awe.

…..” inward ” prayer – self examination and confession that brings a deeper sense of sin and, in return, a higher experience of grace and assurance of love…..prayer of intimacy. 

…” outward ” prayer – supplication and Intercession that focuses on our needs and the needs of others in the world.
The Alpha Prayer
In Jesus’ instruction on prayer, the Lord’s prayer, praise comes first….Praise motivates the other kinds of prayer. The more we attend to God’s perfect holiness and justice, the more readily we see our own flaws and confess them.
Seeing God’s greatness also leads to supplication. The more we sense his Majesty and the more we realize our dependence on him, the more readily we go to him for every need.”
But before prayer our souls have to be disturbed. The question then is, ‘ how troubled are we about the state of our nation’.
Further, which Jesus have we pledged to follow to the end! The one who ‘ eats with sinners….the gunmen in West Kingston, the ‘ ladies of the night on back road ‘, the ‘ scammers in Montego Bay’, those who ‘ defend Gaza and Gully’ …..or the one who only enters the Church on a Sunday or Sabbath to talk to the ‘ righteous who need no repentance’ 
Maybe the third verse will help:

O let me hear thee speaking 

in accents clear and still,

above the storms of passion, 

the murmurs of self-will;

O speak to reassure me, 

to hasten or control;

O speak, and make me listen, 

thou guardian of my soul.
Pray God that above the storms of passion for Serena Williams, the fate of the #ReggaeBoyz,  our political party or leader #CampaignFinancing or even #unkemptJa, our denomination,  we may pledge Allegiance to the Lamb of God who died to #RescueAllMankind. From sin and death unto everlasting life! #Gospel

And from the madness of #7Murdersin1Day 

Peace