As we reflect on the events of the last 18 months, we have been dealing with so many big issues in our world. The celebration of Black History Month (BHM) is a welcome prospect for us to give thanks to God for who he has made us to be. As Children of the Kingdom of God, we rejoice and give thanks that God made us in his image and likeness according to the creation narratives in the book of Genesis. So, we proudly say “All men are created equal before God”, meaning every man, woman, boy or girl is made in the image of God, and therefore equal. The concept of being made in God’s image is described as the doctrine of imago dei, which literally means “doctrine of made in God’s image”.
The national theme for this year’s BHM is ‘Proud to be’. As a Diocese, we have added to it. Our Diocesan theme is Celebrating Black History Month in Business, Science and the Arts. You may ask the question, proud to be what? We are proud to be the people God has made us to be, without any apologies or excuses for being what we have been made to be or are.
I am reminded of the confession from the mouth of the Virgin Mary after her encounter with the angel Gabriel announcing to her that she will be pregnant with the child of God,. “And Mary said, Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:38 ASV)
Mary was confident in God’s word and who she was under her skin, and proud to be the one called to bear the Messiah. And, later said, “All generations shall call me blessed”.
As God’s people, we are confident in who he has made us to be and what he has called us to do in his Kingdom with our unique gifts in Arts, Business or Science or whatever he calls us to, Lay Leadership, Priesthood, Youth-work, Children’s work, Church leadership, etc. Our celebration is one to give glory to God for he hath regarded and taken notice of us and sent us out to be witnesses of his glory and love through Jesus Christ our Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Visit southwark.anglican.org/antiracism for Black History Month events and resources.