Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kin-dom n Kaoma

-Susan Harrington Tedrick 
(photo by Lynn Twitchell)

Pastor Karen emailed me to do a Mission Moment related to her sermon series that is bringing new layers of meaning to the Lord’s Prayer. Her note said that she’d like me to talk about the trip to Zambia in relation to the phrase: Thy Kin-Dom Come. 

Say What? I’d only been home two hours and I knew I was jet-lagged but…Thy KIN-Dom Come? Maybe it was a typo.

 Then it struck me. I had just spent 3 weeks in glorious kin-ship.

 When we were in Kaoma the Kin-Dom truly came! It came as friendships with widows and orphans deepened. It came as the team shed their American expectations & let the joy of abundance sneak in, an abundance of spirit with no material possessions, and when we went to church we celebrated the kin-ship of music & faith.

 The message we heard that day is just as relevant here as it was there. It was about power--mata. The power of things we ALLOW to have power over us and the only thing that has real mata--faith in God.

 There, the priest held up something that struck fear in many minds, a voodoo-like effigy that had been left on a woman’s threshold to frighten her. The gasps were audible. He then explained, in a very joyful way, that the only REAL power was Jesus.  Mata a Jesu.

 The US, too, has a history of threatening effigies: burning crosses…nooses.  We, too, give power to things that don’t deserve power. Status…income…vehicles…. Another Kin-Ship.

 The priest asked the congregation to touch the scary doll and pass it along. That was very hard for some people to do. Most congregants were uncomfortable, but they touched it and let go of the power they had given it.

 Mata…power…Only in Jesus…Jesu.

 I wondered: Am I ready to look at, touch and release the artificial things that frighten and have power over me? Are we? And to recognize the only real and liberating power? The power of the blood of Jesus? Or as they say: mata mwa mari a Jesu?

 I hope that I can let that kind of KIN-DOM COME to my heart, too.

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