What we must understand about the movement of God in the life of an individual and in communities, is that when truly harnessed, this is a force for change like no other. Truly repentant hearts are pliable and instruct-able. They are like babies who would do anything to be whole again. The state of being broken, the moment when you become open to possibilities of a fresh start, are times when people become best available for revivals. Worship is one of the tools given by God to the Church to create the right atmosphere for unity, equality, a bonding of peace and contrite hearts.
It is an experience that could trigger soul searching; it could actually help people sit in silence and reflect on their participation in the societal rot. This is the time when men ask “what can we do to be saved?” A time to say “Salvation has come to this home, city, country, continent”.
Remember Zaccheaus, the short man who heard that Jesus was coming? He was rich and not lacking in life’s comfort. Jesus walked into his heart and communed with him. This is what we do in worship. This equality that God has brought to man, this acceptance as sons despite our terrible nature, it can break a man. It is when we realise how unworthy we are. Our arrogance dies, our folly becomes stark and we embrace silence for a moment. Zaccheaus said, “I will return four fold to those I have taken from wrongly” – social justice.
If there is anything that needs to change in Nigeria, it is the justice system. The rights of the common man to life and livelihood needs to be made a priority. If the #HalleluyahChallenge can make this happen, then it fulfils Jesus’ model of gospel. Jesus built His theology on the class struggles: the rich and the poor, the high and the low, the Jews and Samaritans. He addressed ethnic differences, debunked false notions about God’s requirements, and made love a priority and service a prerequisite for leadership. He said, “If any of you shall be great in the kingdom, he has to be like a child.” Jesus washed the feet of the disciples and made them understand that service is a duty of everyone who follows Him. Why else would He be washing your feet if all you do is dance on ceramic tiles and air conditioned church halls?
Jesus wants us talking to the lunatic “legion” and bringing him therapy. Jesus wants us talking to the Samaritan by the well and bringing her true family. He wants us chasing the pigs out of the places of power and enthroning the servants who are willing to roll up their sleeves and work the trenches.
Africa is under a siege of mediocrity. We are not battling laziness or ignorance or stupidity as insinuated by Joy Isi Bewaji in her post, we are battling a system. We are that system, we are in a perpetual rat race, inherited from our slave fathers, the system of unequal opportunities. This retrogressive political system thrives on poverty, lack and perpetual bondage of the lower class. The elite would find it difficult to put an end to this system because it feeds them. The taxes are not for our good, they have never been and will never be.
Leadership is what needs to change. Power needs to be broken, the rich need to become poor at heart. The strong need to become weak. Their hearts need to be made flesh again. Mark Anthony did what was, in his opinion, the best way to reprove a false representation of the #HalleluyahChallenge. If indeed we are not like our backward African fathers who take corrections as insults to their person, then there is a need to see the different perspectives about this #HalleluyahChallenge and let them thrive. These two personalities, like many Nigerians, are eager to see what good could come from a ‘placebo’.
I tell you, even stones will do what man has refused to do. Harmless hashtags, midnight worship sessions, discussions, rebuttals, conversations are leading up to ripple effects. Let’s not stop now, this is not the time to relent. We can ride on the waves of this storm, bring your strong arguments and let discontent translate into torrents of endless criticisms of the system. Bring this government to her knees, yes before the supremacy of Christ and indeed for the nonbeliever, before the power of a million hearts bound together in one accord.
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