A Bright Future
Photo and reflection by Rev. Anthony Everett, Lead Christian Social Activist, Nia Community of Faith
During the Advent Season, a time of anticipation as to how and when Jesus Christ, The Liberator, comes into our lives to make right the injustices of the world we live in, I reflect upon the photo of this mural from the East End of Lexington taken while United Methodist new church planters from Nia Community of Faith walked the streets to assess the conditions of the community. During our journey, we met high school aged girls in the care of their grandmother with no direction for their future. We met a woman who gained more nutrition from the donut we shared than the can of malt liquor she was drinking. We spoke with people disillusioned with the drug rehabilitation center placed in their community and the unaffordable, token community theatre given to disguise a lack of concern for this community and its people. This impoverished, drug-ridden, crime- and AIDS-infested neighborhood of the beautiful Bluegrass Region of the Commonwealth of Kentucky seems to be a place of little hope and even less future.
Yet, I met God through similar artwork at the St. Luke "Community" United Methodist Church in a similar neighborhood in Dallas, Texas only a few years ago. Poor, marginalized African Americans and Latino/as living in distressed conditions in both neighborhoods and similar communities around the world cannot possibly have the audacity to dream of a bright future especially in these political, social, and economic times! Even still, I am reminded of this scripture from Luke 1:37 (NRSV): "For nothing will be impossible with God."
Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah), a core value for Nia Community of Faith, represents our collective good works and accountability shared with each of us through God's grace. Jesus Christ comes through the Ujamaa that we do to share God's unconditional love that has been given to us. Through our sharing we aid, empower, and liberate others. We are the justice we seek! Our future is bright because all things are possible with God!
Join The Nia Movement by liking us at www.facebook.com/NiaCommunity or following us on twitter @Nia_Community.