God’s Manumission for the Nation

"What are you prepared to do?" This line is from an award-winning film The Untouchables, about Elliot Ness and a group of law enforcement officers who ended the criminal career of the gangster Al Capone. That line called into question the reliability and the determination of Elliott Ness to complete the job that he was sent to do. I often wondered if I were given that very difficult job how far would I go to complete it.

A similar level of difficulty would be faced if I were to be given the mission to find a way to work closely with a group of people to complete an important job or help improve their status in life, or to save them from something that would cause their destruction if that group of people lacked legal or moral restraints and were vulgar showing exactly the opposite of the religious faith that I choose to follow. Or, what if they were people who did not like Black people and the culture Black people represent? Or, what if that group of people believed in and followed a different political platform than I did, or were people who believed in using violence as an effective way to solve the problems of society?

Finally, what if that mission for me to help those people came from God? I would have to ask myself that question from the film, "What am I prepared to do to complete God's mission to work closely with, help gain a higher standard of living, or to save those people from destruction?"

I believe God has given us that type of mission today, as people who follow God's word. Because, as a nation, we are on the brink of a crisis that is caused by deep political and societal divisions which have been heating up seismically deep in the interior of our countries' social fabric for several years, but only now has come to the surface over the past 12 years in the way we see manifesting itself today.

I see our mission being somewhat like the mission that God gave to the prophet Jonah found in the book of Jonah 3:1-5, 10. If you read it you will find out that God is reaching out to the people of a city even though the residents living there are acting in ways that are totally against the teachings that God had given them to follow, teachings which Jonah foundationally lived his life by. I urge you to read all four chapters of the book of Jonah. It tells a compelling story and one you will easily finish without much effort.

Then, pray about the place we find ourselves in as a country, even as a global community, and ask yourself the question, "What are you prepared to do, to fulfill God's mission for us in 2021 to help people and connect people, many of whom are fundamentally against what you believe is right according to your understanding of God's word of love and acceptance?" Amen.

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