OPINION/RELIGION/SPIRITUALITY

Obama: Our New Thing!

Isaiah 43: 19 “See I am doing a new thing!”

Regardless of where you stand on political issues, or if you’re Democrat or not; it is undeniable the new realities that are being created for people from the current breaking news that Senator Barack Obama has won the party nomination.

According to the sacred writ, Isaiah the prophet is raised up to speak to a people who were suffering under Assyrian oppression. They struggled with feelings of hopelessness and for the most part helplessness. Being the oracle of the day, Isaiah lets them know that in spite of how bad life may be, they would soon experience a new reality because He (Yahweh, Jehovah, God) was performing something NEW, that has never been seen or heard of before. This New Thing would bring about opportunities for a new reality.

We are living in like times. A forty-plus year old black man has been raised up, bringing with him a message of hope. Now he has won the nomination for the presidency of the USA, a country whose history is rooted in oppression, racism, hatred and violence. Surely, this is a NEW THING, and we are the modern day Children of Israel sitting on the edge of our seats peering at an opportunity for a new reality. All while CNN and the like do their best to make heads or tails of the turn of events from 2007 up to now. I laughed at one of their recent discussion topics: “Obama: What did he do right, what did he do wrong?” WHATEVER…the fact is he did it!

Admittedly, I never thought I’d see the day either when a black man could actually be our president. Yeah, it made for great movies, like Chris Rock’s “Head of State,” or “Deep Impact” with Morgan Freeman. But now, when I look in the faces of small children and tell them, “You can be the President of the USA!” it is no longer just positive motivation to get them to study hard, pursue personal development and higher education, but an opportunity for a New Reality.

I look in the face of my 14 year-old son (whom I’m raising in South Los Angeles) with such gladness because on his bedroom wall, amidst pictures of low riders on 22” rims, and his favorite artists, at center of all that is a picture of Obama that he cut out of a magazine. It symbolizes for him another level of opportunity for a New Reality.

And when I get to chu’ch on Sunday, I will repeat the words of Isaiah: “See I am doing a New Thing…” says the Lord. And I will bring my congregation with me on the journey to explore how the hand of God has always brought people through oppression, violence, racism, slavery, bigotry, recession, and delivered us into new days of opportunity, hope, progression, health and even wealth.

The message of hope is not a new message, but one of old that has been refreshed, and revived for our day through the person of Barack Obama. But we’ve seen this before. Shall I do roll call? Dr. King, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Shirley Chisholm, Frederick Douglass, Thurgood Marshall, Sojourner Truth…and the list goes on. Now we now have a new inductee, Democratic Nominee Barack Obama.

Opportunities for a new reality is what the message of the sacred writ is all about; it is why we share the message of hope; to help move people from where they are that they might experience something greater, better, more peaceful, productive or just happier. God has always given us those people who do that so well, they help move us.

Obama has moved the nation, obviously! But this work is not just reserved for politicians, artist, celebrities or celebrity athletes; this work is something you and I can engage every day of our lives. We can share a message of hope that helps move the single mom; the recovering addict; the homeless man or woman and more importantly, our children. And in case you’re thinking, you don’t know what message of hope to give, feel free to quote Isaiah 43:19. “See, I am doing a new thing!”

Najuma Smith is a preacher, world traveler, writer, and proud parent. She currently serves as the full-time Sr. Pastor of St. James AME Church in Los Angeles. Unapologetically saved and full of purpose, she enjoys sharing words of encouragement with anyone who will listen, bringing a fresh look at life in light of the Word of God. Her collection of motivations and observations are exclusive to Urban Thought Collective. Visit her at www.myspace.com/revjuju.


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