Tag Archives: Psalm 20.7

A Prayer on Christmas Eve

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I am so grateful for the days when we remember that God is with us, when we realize even for a moment that God is here to stay. I shared this prayer tonight at our Christmas Eve service with the sacred fellowship at Village Baptist Church. Let’s pray together.

God, Who keeps company with us, Who didn’t send a divine representative but put on flesh and left the gated community of heaven to send a message: “I am with you.” “What are human beings that You are mindful of (us), mortals (lit. son of man) that You care for (us)? (Psalm 8.4)” Who are we that You tied Yourself to a woman just to reach out to us, that You moved into her womb just to get next to us, that You settled for a manger so that You could make room for us in heavenly mansions?
We offer our thanks and give You praise because we could not have created a God so merciful. We could not have imagined a God so good. We could not have a hand in the making of a God so powerful. So, we have come to applaud Your works. We have come to join our hands with Yours. We have come to raise our hands and bear witness that You have been with us today and throughout the year. We have come to declare, “God is with me.”

We confess that Your presence is very much needed in our world and outside of our windows. Without Your hands, we would throw ours up in despair. You are our hope for “some take pride in chariots and some in horses but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20.7).  As fears increase, we pray that our faith would increase. As anxiety rises, we pray our awareness of You would become palpable. As terrorist attacks are mounted and panic spreads, we pray that we would be reminded that “Your name is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and they are safe” (Proverb 18.10).

We confess that the world will not fall apart because it remains in Your hands. We confess that our confidence rests with the God who is so powerful that even as an infant, governments are threatened. As we worship, strengthen our faith in the God who works from the womb and bolster our conviction that You are with us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Race-less and Proud

“Say it loud.  ‘I’m black and I’m proud.'”

~ James Brown

It was 1968 and James Brown was the conductor of a chorus who sang about black pride, empowerment and self- reliance.  It was a call and response of black power.  And timidity was not appropriate; instead, persons were encouraged to “say it loud.”

In so doing, Brown was saying to listeners of the song that they not apologize for their socially colored black skin.  Long a mark of shame, Brown removes the insult and the injury of the word.  To be black was to be proud.

These black people were not going to accept a life of shame; their being would  be celebrated.  The argument could have been: You can’t change it so learn to love it and sing its praise.

More than 40 years later, the response to racism and the hatred of socially colored black skin continues to be met with the same pride and defiance.  Persons will not be shamed into silence; they continue to “Say it loud. ‘I’m black and I’m proud.'”

While I am for a healthy sense of self and appreciation, I find describing one’s love of self using someone else’s hateful depiction problematic.  And in case you’re wondering, the use of the N- word as a greeting or description of a human being is equaling troubling.  Taking a description given to degrade and making it the definition of one’s existence seems counter-intuitive and counter- productive.

Some take pride in prejudices and stereotypes but I take pride in the name of God who is without prejudice and whose actions cannot be stereotyped (Psalm 20.7).  I am race-less and proud.  Say it loud…