Cross thoughts: Christian ideas seen in Sudanese every day life.
I learned this Nuer greeting so I could use it at the start of one sermon I preached in Khartoum Evangelical Church. I also remember the tasty “porridge” they shared with me for breakfast. The great pastor I knew from there is now in glory!
All people are created in the image of God.
This is clearly taught in Scripture, Genesis 1:26-27. We are all in the shape, form or pattern of God. “…(man) is the image and glory of God”, 1 Corinthians 11:7.
(1) Since every individual is an “image” of God, each person matters.
If you looked into the clean shiny porridge spoon pictured above you would see an upsidedown reflection of yourself. However, it would not be crystal clear, like in a good mirror. It would be blurred, scratched, deformed in small or big ways. Similarly, the people around us have become poor reflections of the God whose model they were made from. We are no different. Sin stains us all. Humanity’s fall into sin has meant that none of us are perfectly what God made us to be. We must remember this when we are tempted to hate other tribal groups or despise different ethnicities of people.
(2) We must see things the way He does. Always. As Christians we must “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator”, Colossians 3:10. Even when our human brothers, sisters, cousins, or even our children are screaming for vengeance following the awful events of war, as Christians we must choose God’s view of “our enemies”. If God took an attitude of revenge out on us, we would all be on the road to an everlasting hell.
Our Lord Jesus said: (3) “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven”, Matthew 5:44-45. When we die and arrive in eternity, our heaven or hell destination will not depend on our earthly tribe. Dinka, Moro, Nuba, Arab, English, will not matter at all. The only thing that will matter is have we become more and more like our Father in heaven?
(4) “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”, Matthew 6:14-15.
The choices are yours. God is watching your responses.