Sorry I haven’t posted in a while over the past few months I had a great deal of changes and additions to my life which I am grateful for. I recently started my own organization Prophetic Whirlwind: Uncovering The Black Biblical Destiny which is dedicated to producing Bible Study and devotional materials as well as workshops and lecturers concerning the Black presence in the Bible. I am a theology nerd but the spirit reminded me it’s not enough to collect all this info for yourself but you owe it to your ancestors to share it. Check on the Prophetic Whirlwind page on this blog for more information.
I hope all is well with each of you, remember stay connected to the Most High and you will be reminded of the truth.
Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.” –Psalm 68:31
The Bible is a multicultural book. This statement may sound controversial but archeology, history, and the text prove it to be true. In 2013 this controversy played out in the media when viewers of The Bible miniserieswere upset that Samson was played by a black man. A second controversy occurred when a Fox News broadcaster confidently declared that Santa Claus and Jesus were white, yet when people researched original depictions of Saint Nicolas, they found pictures of a dark brown man. It appears that our faith has been distorted. As we celebrate Black History Month and prepare for Lent, how can uncovering the black presence in the Bible aid us in mourning against the sin of racism? One of the effects of racism is the whitewashing of history and sadly this has taken place even in our biblical studies.
Though I still love Kandinsky I have to show some love to Vincent van Gogh. Many may not know that he was a missionary early in life and tried to become a minister but failed in theology school and was fired from his missionary post for actually following in Christ foot steps and living among the poor miners he ministered to; he actually slept on the floor and lived in poverty by choice. The church felt his choice demeaned the office of minister-wow what spiritual ignorance. What many may not know is that Van Gogh’s most well known work Starry Night is a powerful indictment on the church because all the buildings in the painting have lights that are turned on except–the church. Starry Night always challenges me to consider about my role as a faith-based organizer and spiritual person-is the light of Christ turned on in my life? On one hand I have always wondered (with indignation) what the church lost because Van Gogh was not allowed to minister, but the Holy Spirit allowed me to see that by being kicked out of the church Van Gogh’s purpose was able to expand so that generations are able to benefit from his art. Sometimes our anointing and gifts are too expansion for the church, but I don’t want to start preaching so I will let you all meditate on that! “Van Gogh aspired to become an artist in God’s service, stating: “…to try to understand the real significance of what the great artists, the serious masters, tell us in their masterpieces, that leads to God; one man wrote or told it in a book; another in a picture.” Van Gogh can teach us much about what true ministry is and the role of depression in the lives of many artist and clergy(yes many clergy suffer with depression even Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King faced bouts of depression).
English: Theo van Gogh, 21 years of age. According to the Nationaal Archief this would be Vincent van Gogh, the source of this photograph is the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. However, Stedelijk Museum transferred their material to the Van Gogh Museum when it was founded. The latter states it is a depiction of Theo van Gogh. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Personally, I have struggled with depression and though I am healed from the darkest bouts, to stay in that healing I have to lean on God’s grace, seek out help and make choices each day to live in joy.
What can the life and work of Van Gogh teach us about the role of depression in the lives of ministers and artist?
Note: as I understand Van Gogh my have lost his faith after being rejected by a woman he was pursuing and her family, but anyone who walks this path of faith knows that there are ups and downs and so we can not judge the final destination his journey.
This is a Bible Study I co-authored for The Poverty Initiative which is apart of a series of Bible Studies and Devotionals on the Last Week of Jesus’ Life and the Last Year of Rev. King’s life which was co-published by members of the Poverty Initiative.Though we are not placing the Rev. King on the same level as Jesus, by examining a modern day prophet such as the Rev. King we can gain encouragement and practical insight into how to live a life dedicated to Jesus’ message of Liberation, Justice and Prophetic Love. Be Blessed!