Celebration without contemplation leaves one giddy and moor-less.
So I have made as a part of my annual Independence day happening, attendance at the Service of Celebration held at Dunbarton Chapel on the campus of Howard University.
The chapel is usually enveloped with the sounds of the best in choral and instrumental renditions that Jamaicans can offer. This year was particularly superb with a rich variety of soloists, giving new meaning to freedom songs that swell the heart with gladness. We were indeed blessed from the music of meditation to the postlude
I was however particularly struck by the speaker of the day, The Right Reverend E. Don Taylor, Vicar Bishop for New York and Rector , Kingston Parish Church. I was struck by his determined humility. He struck a cord by placing his message within the context of a frustrated leader, the prophet Elijah. Elijah needed divine refreshment to complete the mission.
47 years of unrealized hope that was given birth on that magic midnight can become dis-heartening. When you think about it, it only took the Israelites 40 years to make it to the promise land!
Until we realize that for Jamaica to complete her journey to the goal of greatness, she will need to rely on divine power to afford a successful journey.
Sure economic development is important, however it has to be set on a solid foundation of faith.
The Right Reverend E. Don Taylor
“I believe in Jamaica has to be superseded by I believe in God “
is a summary statement of his superb sermon.
To that, I say amen!
Words are relatively cheap if not bolstered by strong action, and this is what give me even a greater hope in Reverend Taylor, in addition to his thundering prophetic voice. Reverend Taylor has a heart for social justice. After establishing successful parishes in New York city that included the revival of his denomination in some blighted urban settings (my description), he answered the call of service to the parish in the heart of Kingston.
Without the promise of an earthly reward, and the enormous social challenges that are holding sway in Kingston, he like Abram answered the call to serve this demanding parish. He clearly has a transformative vision for Kingston. I pray that this prophet will find honor in his home community, and not just be remembered as the lad that was stoning the neighbor’s tree for mangoes.
This type of sacrificial modeling for those of us in Diaspora could just triggered a new era of giving that could infuse Jamaica with additional energies to allow her to realize her true destination.