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The Son Do Move - Issue #1: Not Another Newsletter
Does the world need another newsletter? No.
Is it getting one anyway? Fasho.
Not Another Newsletter
I wavered on this decision for a long minute. I'd be willing to wager that you've been there before. Should I do the thing, or shouldn't I? Should I take the chance or not? What if it fails? What if I put myself out there and get mocked. Or worse. What if no one notices?
I deliberated. I prayed. And I didn't get any clarity.
So I decided to do the thing anyway. Because sometimes, that's what faith looks like.
Sometimes, faith looks like trusting that God Almighty has embedded in your soul the very things you need to sustain you in a particular season.
Sometimes, faith looks like sharing that which you’re not quite certain you have enough of to spare.
Sometimes, faith looks like taking a step onto a foggy pathway, not certain what terrain awaits your feet should you end up taking the next couple of steps.
Sometimes, faith doesn’t feel safe.
This is me doing the thing. This is me writing my thoughts and musings out (more than 280 characters at a time, even!), unsure of whether or not anyone will read them. This is me entertaining the far fetched idea that, in addition to all of the things I’ve imagined myself as, I can also be a writer. This is me pushing through a fear: that maybe I’m not good enough to actually do something I’ve been feeling led to do for awhile.
I confess, this isn’t my first crack at writing. At two different points in my life, I’ve run blogs. The first of which was more of a hobby. Though it wasn’t popular by most metrics, it did open a couple of doors for me before I decided that my faith required taking my life in a different direction. The second one felt more true to who I’ve ultimately been called to be, and technically isn’t even defunct yet. But it is tied to a platform that somewhat restricts the things I am allowed or expected to talk about, and so I felt compelled to write in a space that would afford me the breadth to opine on the many things that cross my mind. I won’t lie to you: I’m not entirely sure of all that encompasses just yet.
I’ll probably still spend a lot of time talking about God. However, I’ll also spend a bunch of time talking about being Black. Maybe I’ll talk about what it means to have been born in the United States of America in this Black body. Maybe I’ll talk about each of those things, and how each informs the others. What I can assure you is that what you will find here is authentically me, because that is the only thing that I have to offer that you can’t find anywhere else.
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This space bears the title The Son Do Move, which is a play on a famous sermon preached by a formerly enslaved preacher by the name of John Jasper. In 1878, from the pulpit of Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia, Jasper delivered a sermon entitled “De Sun Do Move,” using Joshua 10:13 as his key text. In the King James Version of the Bible, this text reads:
And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
His point was simple: God alone holds the power to make the sun stop and start.
His sermon was preached in defiance of the acceptance of heliocentrism (in which the sun sits stationary at the center of the solar system, with Earth revolving around it) over a geocentric universe (in which the Earth is the center of the universe and the sun revolves around it). Jasper’s fellow ministers were a bit embarrassed by this sermon. There was no need to cling to old doctrines in light of new revelation. Yet, Jasper was unrelenting. As if to say: I know what the Bible says!
Here’s the thing though… Jasper was actually right. Sort of. We’ve since learned and accepted that the sun is in fact moving! The sun is merely one of many stars orbiting in a galaxy known as the Milky Way. Is that what Jasper was referring to? Probably not. But has our understanding of the way things are continued to evolve as it has throughout history? Absolutely.
I look back at Jasper’s folksy sermon with a sort of awe. He stood, with the biblical authors, on his faith in God - not in well funded and resourced science laboratories nor in the halls of academia. He spoke from his experience. And as the truth unfolded around us, he found a sort of vindication.
And so I will speak from mine. I will speak of nurturing my faith in a world that we are constantly learning about. I will celebrate the fact that as Jesus of Nazareth ministered, served, and healed people, he moved. He traveled to where people found themselves and met their needs. It is that trait of Jesus, that unwavering commitment to share truth and set free, that I hope to embody during my time on this planet. As the Son of God moves, I aspire to move.
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If you’ve made it this far: thank you. Thank you for being the neighbor I needed in this hour. Thank you for being an encouragement to me. Thank you for reading so many of my words and not giving up. I hope you come to value our time together as much as I do.
I’m not bold enough to charge for everything I write, but if you ever feel led to support me in this endeavor financially, I’d appreciate your partnership in ways I can’t fully articulate. You should be able to become a member below if you decide to.
I do not know where this journey will take us, but I am excited to find out.
May God bless you real good, beloved.