By Dr. Clinton Austin
Emmanuel Baptist Church
Change is all around us. Change is alright if it comes without causing us difficulty or pain or moving us from our comfort zone. Styles change and we adapt. As a matter of fact we rush for the latest fashions, debt not withstanding. But when it comes to changing our ways, our thoughts, even when we know deep down within that it is the proper and right thing to do, we are reluctant. Why are we that way?
We have just come through the observation of Black History month. Our history is a grim reminder that change does not without a price even in light of it being the morally right thing to do. In the Dred Scott decision of 1887, Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney writing the majority opinion stated that “Any person descended from black Africans, whether slave or free, is not a citizen of the United States, according to the Declaration of Independence.” This decision was rendered notwithstanding the memorable words of the Declaration of Independence, adopted in 1776, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Now we have elected and installed a new president, the first African American president!
That’s change! It was not easy. Look where the Lord has brought us from! His election has brought about some other African American firsts including Eric Holder, Attorney General, Susan Rice, ambassador to the United Nations, and Lisa Jackson, administrator of environmental Protection Agency. Even the Republicans elected Michael Steele as party chairman. Throughout government there are face changes. What a message this sends to our youth and to the world – “Yes, America can!” “Yes, we can!” “Yes, Yes, Yes, God can” and “God will!!!”
At this very crucial time our president comes with a bold new agenda to get our nation back on track. The task will not be easy. We must be constantly in prayer for President Obama. Already the stimulus package is under attack. To be president for all the people will not be easy. Heretofore the tide has been to seemingly move away from the “least of these” but these are the ones for whom also our Christ came. And because of Christ, we are here!
Less we forget, the Church is about change! Our journey is a pilgrimage of exciting upward mobility! God has chosen and gifted us for the challenge ahead (Ephesians 4:11-13). Because we live in a “sin” world, the Church must be ever mindful that Satan is still the corrupter, the deceiver and the destroyer. As his tactics change, we must change. Our charge is not only defensive; it must be offensive as well. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil . . . Be strong in the Lord and His mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10-12).
As we continue as changing people in an ever changing environment we must continue to strengthen ourselves through personal outreach, prayer, study and worship. We must be available and committed!