Submitted by Jan on Tue, 02/05/2017 – 00:04
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Year A (2016-2017)
Bible Book: 1 Peter
Verse: 19 – 25
Our poor enslaved ancestors!
I am conflicted when it comes this scripture being used to enslave people. This scripture sounds like a person was supposed to do everything, and endure everything the overseers put us through without a mumbling word, because as has been read to our ancestors “that is what counts with God”. What a life, what a scam, what a shame, to have scripture held over the heads of many who, by all accounts had their own way of living in the spirit, before the missionaries came over and changed everything around. It fills me with righteous indignation. They arrived and destroyed the way of our ancestral beginnings, our ancestral life and to force us into a life that was not spiritually or economically to our benefit. We were stolen and taken to another land, far across the ocean. We have been baptized with water and sometimes if we were disobedient, we were baptized with the lash. Some of our ancestors baptized themselves by jumping overboard.
But I digress.
This is about HIV, and the newcomers to this brave new world, and the Long Term Survivors ‘L.T.S’, who have been sitting in the sheds in the back, waiting to die. We too have been cajoled into being patient. We sit down and get a diagnosis which forever changes our lives. And we become a cog in the wheel of: making appointments, being told what to do: blood work, and support groups – to share the frightened part of us, that arise as we get thinner, develop lipodystrophy, Kaposi sarcoma, and a host of other manifestations of HIV. This is not to horrify you, or place you into a panic….but to make you aware.
It is for you to take that piece of scripture and instead of accepting “just what is”, instead of suffering everything that Christ experienced and chalking it up to being a good Christian or enslaved one, instead of suffering in silence as Christ did, to make some noise! Open your mouth, or have someone open theirs for you.
Jesus suffered in silence. We will NOT suffer in silence. Silence = death, remember?
We can aspire to be Christ like, but there is no way we can aspire to be Christ. There is no way we can go to the cross as Christ did. Christ was built for that. That was his main mission in life; to be with us, to feel our pain, to undergo his own suffering and to die on the cross FOR us. We can never die on the cross as Christ did.
We have our own cross to bear. The cross of HIV. We too have been baptized. Some of us have been baptized with water, some with blood. We’ve been baptized with the blood of someone carrying the disease. We didn’t protect ourselves. But no one deserves this life! Scripture states that they called Jesus every name in the book. Well, they are still calling us names to: infected, unclean, sick, skinny, the walking dead…you fill in the blank.
We deserve to live, and to live abundantly in Christ’s name. So, go out there and make some noise! Ask questions! Go to your doctors prepared with questions about YOUR body and what is going on. Make some noise to congress and your representatives! We can no longer afford to be silent. Silence = Death. Look what they did to Christ.
What counts with God is how we care for ourselves and for each other.Make some noise and live!
Questions for reflection:
What are you doing to make your voice heard?
What kind of relationship do you have with your doctor?
Do you have a support buddy to help you through the system?
Written By: Reverend Andrena Ingram: Former Pastor of St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia
Author: Ingram A (Past.)