Devon Dick | 'Jesus is Lord' is political
On Sunday, Riots, Rebellion and the Black Church was the topic for discussion at The Kings Cross Baptist Church in central London. This area of central London was once an inner city, but since the redevelopment ordered by the political directorate, it is now a thriving space financially. It was therefore important that the Church examine the role she should play in the community and the wider society. Hence, Eleasha Louis, a member of the church and PhD student, who is examining the topic of the black consciousness and the Christian faith, organised this discussion that saw many young adults in attendance. In the discussion, Sasha, said claiming that 'Jesus is Lord' is a political statement.
This insightful comment was buttressed by Eleasha reminding the audience that Jesus lived and served in a colony. A colony not dissimilar to what Jamaica used to be under British rule. I was asked to speak because it was felt that I could offer some insights into helping the Brits to navigate the political climate. The organiser had found my book, Rebellion to Riot: The Jamaican Church in Nation Building to be helpful
It is important in this Holy Week as we prepare to celebrate Good Friday, the death of Jesus on our behalf for our sins and on Sunday, remembering the risen Jesus who triumphs over evil, injustice, falsehood and death. It is important for all who interpret the death and resurrection of Jesus to understand that this is a political act. It was a political act that ordered Jesus' death although his only sin was to heal the sick, raise the dead and give sight to the blind and offer wholeness and salvation to persons who were guilty, lonely and considered the least.
The book of Revelation reminds us that to claim Jesus as Lord was a political statement indicating that the emperors were not gods and will not have ultimate sway over our lives. It also means that we give total allegiance and obedience to God alone. Therefore, no politician, workplace boss, spouse or children can have our unquestioned obedience. We give priority to God.
Justice for all
Saying 'Jesus is Lord' implies we will pray and work until righteousness flows in Jamaica; until God's will is done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Christians get involved in politics not to politicise the process or engage in partisan politics or even to seek elective office, but rather to ensure that the political process treats all as equals before the law and that there is justice for all. In addition, that there is a mechanism to help persons who are vulnerable and handicapped by the system.
'Jesus is Lord' means we will worship no other god save the true and living God. Christians are interested in economic system not out of economic greed, but to ensure that all have at least the basic needs met and none should desire more than is deserved or necessary.
The Church cannot be a safe space to placate those who will oppress the people who are voiceless or who plan to execute our men, women and children. It is always a space to challenge the principalities and powers who have already been disarmed, defeated and disgraced through the power of the resurrection. 'Jesus is Lord' implies no to corruption in low and high places. 'Jesus is Lord' is saying no to those who keep residents in a code of silence and desire an oath of secrecy and they are forced to live in a place of seclusion. 'Jesus is Lord' says no to unreasonable fees, unconscionable taxes and unnecessary tithes.
To all readers, A Holy Week.
PS: congratulations to my brother Ainsworth, Commissioned Land Surveyor, who last Thursday was designated Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Technology.
- Rev Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. He is author of 'The Cross and the Machete', and 'Rebellion to Riot'. Send feedback to columns@ gleanerjm.com.