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Sitting While Black

Check out my episode “Sitting While Black ” from Nicholas Hood3 on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3/episodes/Sitting-While-Black-e1c47a

 

Sitting While Black

It seems like week after week, there is another story of racial abuse and oppression in America. Racial abuse and oppression are a direct outgrowth of implicit bias.  Each of us has bias of one form or another.  As a child in New Orleans I would watch the Friday night fights on television…would pull for the darker person.  The statistics of police abuse in America are directly tied to racial profiling.  Unarmed blacks are 5 times more likely to be killed by police.  Yes, more whites are shot by police, but when adjusted by population, the number of black people killed by police is higher.  In 2017-2018, out of 987 shooting deaths, 223 were black, 179 Hispanic.  It is not just the police where bias rears its ugly head: health care, employment, housing, financing.

I think I frightened a woman yesterday on Grosse Point Blvd…I was adjusting my headphones for a walk along the Lake Front, a woman, walking past me walked into the back yard of a home I parked by car in front of.  She stayed there until I began my walk!  But, it goes both ways…another woman ran past me, smiling, waving and almost tripped, looking at me…

And yes, we see bias in the coffee shop-Last week, the Starbucks on Woodward and Mack had two white men talking out of their mind, but the staff are comfortable with them.  But, in Philadelphia, two unarmed, quiet, respectful black men were arrested and detained for nine hours, simply because they were black.

In each case of abuse and oppression I ask myself for a biblical and theological response.  Ironically, for the past 13 days, I have been reading and writing meditations based on the 1st 13 Psalms in the form of a blog and Podcast

  1. Several of the Psalms in this section of the Bible focus on oppression and justice
  2. Many of these Psalms were written by David during stressful periods in his life. (Hated by Saul/Hunted by Absalom)
  3. Examples of some of the writing on justice and oppression by David:

Psalm 9: 13  Be gracious to me, O Lord. See what I suffer from those who hate me; [1]

Psalm 10: 2 In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor— let them be caught in the schemes they have devised. [2]

Psalm 5: 9   For there is no truth in their mouths; their hearts are destruction; their throats are open graves; they flatter with their tongues. 10   Make them bear their guilt, O God;

let them fall by their own counsels; because of their many transgressions cast them out,

for they have rebelled against you. [3]

Psalm 3: 1   O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; 2  many are saying to me, “There is no help for you in God.”[4]

 

Let us take a closer look at oppression and justice in the life of David.  One of the underlying questions in the mind of David is the absence of God

-“Answer me when I call” (Psalm 4)

  1. A second issue is the apparent indifference of God

-Psalm 13; 1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

2    How long must I bear pain in my soul,

and have sorrow in my heart all day long?

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? [5]

 

  1. Another issue is the question of the seeming impotence of God
  2. A fourth issue is the mocking of God

-Psalm 2: 1  Why do the nations conspire,

and the peoples plot in vain?

2    The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers take counsel together,

against the Lord and his anointed, saying,

3    “Let us burst their bonds asunder,

and cast their cords from us.” [6]

 

  1. Even today, those who take advantage of the poor, those who exhibit racial bias are actually making a theological statement: God is irrelevant!
  2. Yet, through the oppression and injustice, David continues to affirm his faith in God
  3. It is this same affirmation of faith that has brought African Americans to this time and place in America
  4. We have come too far to turn back now

-As a people, we are much more sensitized to injustice and oppression

 

  1. Two weeks ago, the nation paused to remember the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr…

-Yes, we have the right to vote

-Yes, schools are integrated

-Yes, we can eat at the lunch counter

-But, it is more difficult to get a loan if you are black

-And black people are more likely than white people to be profiled by the police:

-It’s not just “Sitting while black”

-It is also:

-Standing while black

-Driving while black

-Walking while black

-Trying to get a loan while black

-applying for a job while black

-Trying to get a promotion while black

-Just living while black!

 

  1. The God we serve is a God of peace, a God of justice and a God of the oppressed

-This sermon is called, “Sitting While Black,”

-But what it is really about is oppression and the justice of God

-Oppression is real

-Racism is real

-But justice is also real

-Theodore Parker (Martin Luther King Jr) “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

-Yes, there are those who will always try to take advantage of the weak

-Yes, there will be those who will lord their power and influence

-But our God in heaven, who see’s high and reaches low

-Jesus Christ who judges the just and the unjust

-One day, will make it alright

-The challenge for you and me is to never give up!

-Though it may seem like the world is stacked up against you,

-Never give up

-They will lie on you

-Talk about you

-Be frightened of you

-Try to take advantage of you,

-But never, ever, give up

-Never give up, because God is on your side!

-Never give up, because God has a plan for your life

-Never give up, because God has great things in store for you

-Never give up, because behind every dark cloud,

-There is a bright sunshine!

-Never give up, because after every cold winter, there is a spring with flowers

-Never give up, because after every disappointment, there is a new opportunity

-Never give up, because after every crucifixion, there is a resurrection

-They nailed Jesus to a cross,

But he never gave up

-And now is seated at the right hand of God!

-the wicked will cease from troubling

-Mercy and grace will meet

-Righteousness and peace will kiss

-And, the glory of God will shine forever!

-Never give up!

 

 

Psalm 13

Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies

To the leader. A Psalm of David.

1    How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

2    How long must I bear pain in my soul,

and have sorrow in my heart all day long?

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

3    Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!

Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,

4    and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”;

my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

5    But I trusted in your steadfast love;

my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

6    I will sing to the Lord,

because he has dealt bountifully with me. [7]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts about, “Sitting While Black”?
  2. What do you think God expects us to do about racism and sexism?

 

Prayer:  O, Lord, you are a God of Justice and a God of the oppressed.  Your vision is high, but your reach goes low.  Nothing can escape your almighty vision.  I call on you now, in the name of Jesus, to transform the world into a world of peace and a world of equality.  Lord, help us to remember the poor and with the resources you have put within the palm of our hands, bless us to make this world truly reflective of your almighty plan.  In Jesus name we pray.  Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, and meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms and Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.

Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 9:13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 10:2). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 5:9–10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[4] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 3:1–2). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[5] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 13:1–2). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 2:1–3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

“Making it Home”

“Making it Home”

 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Worship Service

At

Plymouth United Church of Christ

600 E. Warren Ave.

Detroit, Michigan 48201

313-831-2460

 

 

8:30 AM Worship Service – Atty. Noah P. Hood, speaking

11 AM Worship Service – James Morris, speaking

1 PM – “Making it Home” – a discussion led by young adults on knowing your rights when stopped by the police, featuring several lawyers, judges.  Light refreshments will be served.

 

Nicholas Hood,III Ministries

https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

http://www.nicholashoodiiiministries.orh

The Golden Rule and Black Lives Matter Prayer

The Golden Rule and Black Lives Matter Prayer –

 

DSC_5824
Sanctuary Beach, California

 

Matthew 7: 12 “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets. [1]

Prayer:  Lord, create in me the willingness to treat others with fairness, kindness and respect.  Make me strong, self-confident and self-assured, but grant me humility and inner peace.  Help me this day to treat others the way I would like to be treated.  I ask for no special favor.  Treat me on the merit of my performance.  But, show others how to respect me – not because of the color of my skin, the nappy threads of hair on my scalp, but because of my value and worth.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Mediations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

Note:  I am preaching today at noon on the subject, “The Golden Rule and Black Lives Matter” – Plymouth United Church of Christ 600 E. Warren Ave. Detroit, Michigan 48201

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mt 7:12). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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