Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Sunday Sermonizing: Famine Hymns and Submission to the Global Church

Today my (mostly) white, suburban, evangelical church had a great moment. For the first time in its short 11-year history, a non-white, non-American person spoke from the pulpit. It was a beautiful time of learning from another culture.

The Church in America has much to learn from the multi-faceted beauty of the global church.

Passion for God from Rwanda.
Kingdom-centered hospitality from Mongolia.
Deep commitment to prayer from Haiti.

Or listen to the hymn written by Ghanaian poet Afua Kuma.

The famine has become severe.
Let us go and tell Jesus!
He is the one who
When he raises his hands
Gives even our enemies their share
And our brothers bring head pans
To carry the food away.

This is not the sort of worship song we sing in America. Words like this would not be sung by congregations who know little of hunger. Famine changes how we see God. It changes how we see our community. It even changes the way we see our enemies. It's a beautiful hymn. Americans may not be able to relate. But we sure can learn something.

The Church has much to learn in diversity.

In America, we have to be intentional about stepping into diversity. Intentional in submitting to diversity.

This is sometimes difficult for white people to do.

But submit, we must. Even though we're generally terrible at it.

"Every tribe" is the opposite of American church superiority. The Gospel is the great equalizer.

And equality is real in the Kingdom of God.