“How Do We Sing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land?”

How Do We Sing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land? Psalm 137:

The land is a safe place for those native to it; however, this is not the same for the stranger.  Have you ever gone over to a neighbor’s house for dinner or a visit and though the hosts were friendly, you felt out of sorts.  The food was different, the household aroma was foreign and environment didn’t quite feel comfortable. Do we try to apply our expectations on them or do they try to apply theirs on us? 

The “we and they” in a cultural context becomes manifested in the difference of our ethnicity.  When entering our neighbor’s world, it becomes increasingly important to see that unity has a price.

We must lose something that we hold dearly to our heart, such as the cultural music that shapes our world, in order to gain real and God inspired unity. The moral code that we as a society and even believers live by, is fluid and situational.  Many preach love but they succumb to the philosophy of hatred.  This hatred concerning the works of the flesh is identified in Galatians 5.  Many of these behavioral acts of the flesh (human nature) are relational.

” paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.” (MSG)Galatians 5:20-21

This displays a clear picture of the flesh, human nature which picks and chooses morality based on the needs and wants of the individual or those whose group lines up more closely to the individual in question. A comfortable place in society for these divisions to separate often times fall along ethnic lines.

The greater question must be asked in the midst of meandering realities of racial/ethnic reconciliation and the views on many different fronts, where does the truth lye?  The simple answer is to gloss over the broad stroke of popular social/political colloquialisms and talking points that appear to be a quick fix on the surface; however, in reality they offer even more questions.

“How do sing the Lord’s song in a strange land”?  This is the question because this is a strange new paradigm that we are discovering in uncharted water from all sides of this ethnic/cultural chasm.  The blueprint is there for Building the Bridge together across it. Isaiah 58:9-121 Corinthians 9:19-27 John 2:16  

“The fact is that they’ve lied to my people. They’ve said, ‘No problem; everything’s just fine,’ when things are not at all fine.  When people build a wall, they’re right behind them slapping on whitewash. Tell those who are slapping on the whitewash, ‘When a torrent of rain comes and the hailstones crash down and the hurricane sweeps in and the wall collapses, what’s the good of the whitewash that you slapped on so liberally, making it look so good?’ Ezekiel 13:10-12 The Message (MSG)

This very sentiment solidifies the simplistic white washed oversimplified and self righteous talking points of the various factions… talking points such as “round them all up and send them back,” back to where?  Are we speaking of the lands in the south west U.S. taken from Mexico during the so called “Manifest destiny” campaign?

Or, statements like “The white man is holding me down and sending black men to prison.” How is this; when black on black crime is the greatest threat to the black male?  Also statements such as “we want our country back” are inclusive.  Well, who took it and where did it go? Do we want to return back to the days of Jim Crow and, so called, separate but equal?

When addressing a situation of division of two key women and equally valued pillars in the early church, the writer of Philippians says it this way “I ask Euodias and Syntyche to agree as Christians should.  My true helper, I ask you to help these women who have worked with me so much in preaching the Good News to others.  Clement helped also. There are others who worked with me. Their names are in the book of life.

Philippians 4 New Life Version (NLV)

When we look at it this way we must ask “how do we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” The answer should be that we unequivocally must sing it together and agree, as Christians should.

Kevin K. Robinson, Executive Director of Accord1

3 Responses to ““How Do We Sing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land?””
  1. Karen R. says:

    Another terrific post! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. accord1 says:

    Reblogged this on accord1 and commented:

    When we look at it this way we must ask “how do we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” The answer should be that we unequivocally must sing it together and agree, as Christians should.

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