#TreasuresofDarkness, Day 24: Genesis 15: 13–21. ELDERS SPEAK!

Listen to the wisdom and the knowledge of the ELDERS!!
Dr. Richard Stewart, Elder, theologian in this wider expression of the ELCA and member of CIBL (the Conference of International Black Lutherans) gives us theological, practical and pastoral insight, and as he says “ born prior to ‘Brown vs. the Board of Education’ in college as assignations took Kennedy, King, and Kennedy, and nobody’s slave- perhaps God’s servant, on my good days”
Genesis15: 13–21:Then the LORD said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.” {17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi[a] of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates — 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”}

There are times when I identify with the Old Testament Elders whose non-chronological encounters with the Almighty are recorded in Genesis 15…

Chronologically, I, a person of color [POC] on the west side of the Atlantic know that I live in the line of the subject people in Genesis 15…

As an Atlantic West POC, I know that there are intentional and unintentional African ex-patriots who have been here for at least the 400 years as written in verse 13.

We’ve served, and fought and still we are not recognized

As the Old Testament records, we’ve been strangers in a land that has absorbed our blood, sweat and tears, and in some strange way that gives us ownership rights, just for enduring.

Our labors enhanced the coffers of the profit takers. Our bodies, our passions, our fruitfulness, earned others profit. Maybe, just maybe there is a plantation record, with first names only.

Our faded images of the past, days, months, years steal remembrances, unable are we to answer the question, “of 130, which tribe are you?”, so we spit in a tube and mail it away.

This is where they remain, this is why the oceans are so sacred

Questions from our bodies, from the mouths of our children, become DNA answers of who the ancestors are, that find their future in our living.

Questions arise in our land, even today, of our legitimacy, paid for by unimaginable price by those who preceded us; knowing the status of our living as indentured, slave, free, emancipated, reconstructed, yet still separate and unequal.

These are the Ancestors who are still speaking

Living in a communal covenant that is ours, just for the sake of survival in the midst of dubious acknowledgement of our humanity, no longer bound to an image of a contract of return to motherland long since forgotten, but burned into our living, as we gathered on Sunday am to see if the resurrection has a broader context than our brother Jesus.

Living continuously in a covenant made with Almighty, we have life everlasting; we have a life of living abundantly in love, though often at the bottom of any societal measure. Each of us struggles as achievements of athletes, carry more weight than leader of the free world.

Returning is a blessing that a few of us have exercised in a spiritual right of return to homelands of the Bantu, Kush, Nubia, and Nok. Overwhelmed by the tenacity of those of our foremothers and sometimes unknown forefathers, yet unable to say what is our tribe, ‘Oh, you are an American, but you look like….’

May we, these lost tribes in America, get to experience this one day

Rightfully we live and labor for the right to live in peace in the Mericas — North, Central and South, and continuously challenged by neighbors with less pigmentation.

Ignore us if you want, we are Sacred Children of Creator!!

Continuing to serve as the Children of God, we have learned to be Global citizens, blessed by God to be messengers of fortitude, graciousness, love and forbearance, and to be proclaimers of the presence of God everywhere, not as a slave, but a willing servant of the Almighty.

Continuing to serve as the living messengers of a God of Peace and Love, struggling to find our place in an ever-changing world, satisfied that we know the God who created us and Loves us..

Soli Deo Gloria.