December 2014

“Come and give Him praise! Come let us magnify His name… Immanuel!

The Son of God, Holy One! Hallowed be, Thy kingdom come! Elohim!”

Merry Christmas ya’ll!

This is part of the lyrics to O Come All Ye Faithful by Tramaine Hawkins. I play Christmas worship songs in my car this time of year when I’m picking up boys for basketball practice, games and various outings. This particular chorus brings me to a state of worship quite easily. I always wonder what the boys think of my music… Sometimes I spend close to two hours in the car with them dropping off and picking up. There are usually conversations going on, but I like to think that the message of the music I play is seeping into their consciousness somehow. At any rate, they’re not complaining about it….which is what they do when I play my Christian rock and roll. Perhaps they’re paying more attention than it appears…

I pray that they are, and that they can access the peace of Christ in spite of the turmoil that springs up often in their daily lives. This one has had a recent spate of violence near his house, another is having problems at school… This one is worried because there is no food in the house and his parent is unemployed, another doesn’t know where his family will live after they are evicted this month… Although there are many important issues on the national consciousness right now, for me it always comes back to what is happening in the lives of these little ones right here at home.

I pray that the uproar over needless and unfortunate deaths of black men at the hands of police officers leads to a deeper national dialogue about institutional racism and real substantive change in our society. Our assertion in this ministry has always been that Black lives matter and that the lives of the unchurched poor matter.   But before our lives matter to anyone else, our lives have to matter to ourselves. And for many we’re getting the point across, as evidenced by the young woman who grew up in this ministry and this neighborhood going to college and doing well, …the young man graduating college and taking a good job influencing children in the neighborhood he grew up in, …another young man learning a trade and providing for his family. Black lives matter.

They matter to God and his Son sacrificed His life to demonstrate that fact. The birth of Christ on Christmas morning is a celebration of this truth. Black lives do matter. All of our lives matter, because God became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. And because my life matters, so does yours. Immanuel, “God with us”… how I love that name! It says it all.

Thank you for your support of this ministry. The Lord bless you and your family!

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