Just Right for Jesus

Here is a little something I wrote while reflecting on worship in the Black tradition. I hope you enjoy it, but don’t steal it…

Just right for Jesus

They told us not to dance
Dark feet beating out heathen rhythms in dusty circles on the ground
Is not suitable for the worship of a White man’s god

They told us not to shout out loud
Spirit possessed bodies crying loud their liberation from evil dark
Is not suitable for the worship of a White man’s god

They told us not to sing
Throaty voices straining haunting melodies of freedom tinged with pain
Is not suitable for the worship of a White man’s god

They told us not to dance
But we dance anyway
And stomp our feet to the rhythm of our joyous hearts

They told us not to shout out loud
But we shout anyway
Screaming our celebration and our pain

They told us not to sing
But we sing anyway
And take lines of dusty hymnals and restore to them their soul

Our dance
Our shout
Our song
Not suitable for the worship of a White man’s god
But just right for Jesus!

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10 thoughts on “Just Right for Jesus

  1. Yes, sir. That is true and one more: All that dancing, that shouting, that singing: It’s beautiful.

    A white man’s god will die when faced with true worship, black or otherwise, because true worship, as you say, sings “melodies of freedom tinged with pain;” and “restores to them their soul.”

    A white man’s god is a god in the image of a white man, and a white man is scared, lonely and confused. Becoming white was very costly—it cost him his culture. And so, when faced with Black worship, he sees what his great granddaddies threw away.

    A scared, lonely and confused god simply wafts away like steam in the presence of true faith.

    The beauty of black worship is that the true God sees, hears, and delights. And calls it good. And the beauty of our Christian faith is that those of us who were once strangers are given a home, and a new name.

  2. elderj – I am really feeling this. I am wondering how you feel if I would quote these lyrics you wrote for a message at a retreat for an EM that is trying to find its’ direction.

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