Typically, Christian religious teachers and preachers teach and preach from the Christian scriptures without alluding to the fact that the scriptural narratives are primarily about people of color. Whereas no one people group has sole claim to God’s Kingdom, it is nevertheless important to see through representation, that those, whose voices have been historically missing, silenced and or diminished in society have always played huge roles in the Salvation Story. More importantly, that their people groups are no strangers to God’s Kingdom. Neither are they an afterthought or accommodation to God’s plan of human redemption.
Another aspect of God’s Big Story that’s frequently hidden by teachers is that women of color are deeply involved from Day 1 in God’s Kingdom. That’s precisely why this Advent’s focus is on the Women of Color in Advent.
To help us make the connections, we considered that Advent for many has typically been translated as those four weeks before Christmas. In other words, Advent is about waiting for Christmas. Yet, this cannot be correct because Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth. So why would the church be preparing for something that’s already happened?
A more biblically & theologically grounded perspective of Advent would be to ask “What in the timeline of the Christian Salvation Story, do we wait for now?” And as many would answer “the second coming of Christ,” this would launch us into what Advent is really about every year and clarify the purpose of our series.
The salvation of God’s people has always been characterized by timelines. That’s why we have Old Testament, New Testament, and Revelation (the Eschaton). And each timeline highlights how God’s people waited for the fulfillment of one promise or the other from God.
But why the need of a promise? The probable answer would be “because of the need for human redemption from the Fall.”
The next question would be how, what are the pathways of this redemption? It is in tracing those pathways that the scriptures feature the roles of women of color.
Yet, because too often, the story of redemption has been passed down to us through the voices of the patriarchs (thereby setting the scene for the flourishing of patriarchy) and not through matriarchs and patriarchs (the latter, which would set the tone of mutuality and equality as God intended from the very beginning), our Advent series will attempt to demonstrate that the pathways God took for redemption of humankind was one of mutuality. A pathway that neither segregates nor excludes members of the human genders. Recognizing and affirming God’s pathway has invaluable impact for understanding, appreciating and better articulating God’s Kingdom for relationship, evangelism and ecclesiastical purposes.
Each theme in our series run for a week and is embellished by art, poetry, music, etc., that have been contributed by members of Voices of Color: Christians United community. Please read and share the articles and contribute your comments. Thanks! God bless you!