Lament and Hope: A Pan African Quad-Centennial Devotional Guide - Page 11



LAMENT AND HOPE
The Survival and Spiritual Resistance of African Peoples
to Enslavement and Forced Immigration
Weekly Scripture Lessons:
First Sunday: “Let My People Go” (Exodus 9:1)
Second Sunday: “He Set Me Free” (Psalm 118:5)
Third Sunday: “To Preach Deliverance to the Captives” (Luke 4:18)
Fourth Sunday: “Live as Free People” (1 Peter 2:16)
Biblical Reflection:
The history of African and African-descended people did not begin on the ships of the transatlantic slave trade. Long before we
were shackled for servitude, we were a rich people on the continent of Africa. Yet, kidnapped Africans were shipped for more
than 200 years to the Americas. Some of the first survivors of this voyage arrived in the United States in Virginia. Enslaved
Africans and African-descended people took assets from their past and reinterpreted them in a new context. One of these assets
was their faith that reinterpreted Christianity and resulted in the establishment of Black Churches and spirituals theologically
centered in a vision of freedom. These churches and sacred art, which have inspired a vision and fight for freedom, kept them
and their descendants fighting for just policies that contributed to the goal of ending hunger and poverty.
Biblically, salvation is freedom from the shackles that bind us. It is won not by atonement but by the blood of Jesus that makes
us free, even as the blood of the martyred ancestors makes Black Americans resilient. As a nation with growing inequality
related to hunger and poverty—that is divided by suspicions, hatreds, fears, and oppression—we need policies that rectify social
disparities and inequalities in wealth, health, education, and justice.
Prayer:
We remember our ancestors, O God. You created them in your image; they suffered and bled like your Son, Jesus Christ. We
give thanks, dear God that we are the living testament to their resistance and resilience. May we follow their example and seek
what they sought, which was you! Help us now Eternal God to guide the next generations to end the injustices of poverty, and
hunger and oppressions in any form. Amen.
Reflection Questions:
Week 1: When we consider the Bible, is the end result domination or liberation?
Week 2: How can churches in partnership with social entrepreneurships turn the light of truth upon the present and
past wrongs?
Week 3: Given the 400-year history of racial wealth inequality, how are you advancing an advocacy agenda that supports
wealth creation?
Week 4: How can we create policy and economic solutions that empower communities affected by hunger and poverty?
Reverend (Professor) Quardricos Bernard Driskell is an adjunct professor of religion and politics at The George Washington University
Graduate School of Political Management, pastor of the historic Beulah Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, and a member of the
Pan-African Young Adult Network (PAYAN) at Bread for the World.
Bread for the World
FEBRUARY
5

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