Monday, January 2, 2012

Kwanzaa and Christianity: Can they co-exist?

Kwanzaa and Christianity: Can they co-exist?

After a deep conversation with my friend Min. Bavu Blakes and reading an article that he forwared me from the Huffington Post entitled Christianity And Kwanzaa. by Adam Clark. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-clark/christianity-and-kwanzaa_b_1176405.html?ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

I decided to share my meditative reflection of Kwanzaa. I must admit early in my Christian walk I struggled with celebrating Kwanzaa. I was filled with the fears and concerns expressed in Adam Clark’s article. However over time I find myself being drawn away from the controversy and drawn towards the essence of the Seven Principles themselves. I have taken the time to give deep thought to both the creator of Kwanzaa and Kawaida. In part this is why I decided to bring the totality of my being to the discussion and reflection on Kwanzaa. I noticed the absence of “tradition Christianity” in the man and the Philosophy. But this fact did not keep me blinded to the value of the Principles in the holiday. Therefore I decided to bring my faith to bare on the Principles. The following is a compilation my Face book posts during Kwanza. They are my translation of the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa infused with Faith, I hope that you like it. If you do not have time to read and pray through each, please skip forward to the seventy principle Imani. It summarizes my addition to the discussion. Thank You.


Unity

Happy Kwanzaa to everyone who celebrates this significant African American Holiday. Today's Principle is Umoja/Unity: To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and people.

I pray today for our unity that we will be one in God and one in unity in order to fulfill God's purpose for humanity through Love in action, right deeds and Truth. Remember to Keep your hands clean and your hearts pure... there is safety in his path. Peace

SELF-Determination


Happy Kwanza, today we celebrate the responsibility of SELF-Determination called Kujichagulia. We have made up our minds to take our destiny into our own hands. WE define our culture as we determine it to be; We call ourselves what we want to call ourselves; WE co-create with God for ourselves and WE lift our own Voice for ourselves, our causes, our People.

Heavenly Father, help us to give up the blame game and the victim mentality today and receive the responsibility of Self Determination. Today, WE set our minds to set the course of our destiny today. Father, with your help we create a wholesome world for ourselves and our children. So help us God….. AMEN


COLLECTIVE WORK and RESPONSIBILITY

Happy Kwanzaa! Today we celebrate Ujima; Collective Work and Responsibility. Together we build our communities and together we maintain them. Our Brother’s and Sister’s problems are our collective problem and together we will identify and solve them. Remember we are not truly liberated until all of humanity is liberated. Let go to work…

Most High God, We pray today that you will open the eyes of our hearts in order that we may see our brother’s and Sister’s as extensions of ourselves. Help us to realize that we are our Sister’s and Brother’s keeper and guardian. Help us to willingly receive the collective and individual responsibility of serving and caring for our communities and each other as ourselves. So help us God… to let it Be…


Cooperative Economics

Happy Kwanzaa! Today our celebration of Ujamaa goes very practical and tangible. We celebrate the efforts of those who start and grow their own businesses from the home business, to the mom and pops stores to the world class enterprises. WE recognize the interconnectedness of our spending to the quality of life in our communities.

Today my prayer takes the form of action. I decided to be very deliberate about recycling black dollars. I took the extra drive to Leimert Park Village. (The Center of the African-American Arts and Cultural scene in Los Angeles) I spent some of my hard earned cash in one of the Black owned shops. This time I chose ESO Won Books: When you look at their home page article you will see why this Shop selected me. Check it out… http://esowonbookstore.com Let’s my prayer today be ours go and do like wise. So let it Be…

Purpose

Happy Kwanzaa! Today we celebrate the principle of Purpose call Nia. In this Principle we accept the collective calling to the noble Purpose of the uplift of an entire people. We are being called to commit to the purpose of leading our people beyond the traditional greatness of our past to the glorious future that the Most High has in His Divine Purpose. Inherent in the collective purpose is the rejection of selfishness and individualistic pursuits that retarded the uplift of the people and all of humanity.

Heavenly Father, Help us to see beyond our own individual pursuit of gain long enough to see the higher value of our collective purpose to fully live in harmony and alignment with God and each other that we may be the glorious community working in unity that the Most High had in mind when he created us. So Help us God to let it Be beginning with me….

Creativity

Happy Kwanzaa! Today we celebrate Kuumba: Creativity; Using the totality of our beings to leave the world more beautiful and beneficial than we found it. Creativity is one of our chief characteristics of our Heavenly Father, We all have it. Let us imitate Our Heavenly Father like He created, shaped and formed us, and this world, beautiful out of the chaos that he found us so let us do the same.

Heavenly Father help us be more like you in our daily activities, May the places where you lead us become more beautiful and beneficial then when we first arrived because of our Co-Creativity together in that space. Let us co-Create and be the beauty and benefit we desire in our Worlds…so let it Be… Amen.


Faith

Happy Kwanzaa! Today we celebrate Imani: Faith; We have come full Circle today in our celebration of the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. Imani Faith has been our guide throughout this tour. “We have come this far by Faith…Faith is our trust and belief in God who is able; Faith not just in the God in the sky but trust also in the same God manifested in US: in our people, in our parents, in our teachers, in our leaders too. I see God in You… I see Him in the strength of your noble struggle for righteousness to be experienced and in your drive for victorious lives to be our possessed inheritance.

Heavenly Father thank you for the precious gift of a measure of Faith that Keeps us ever moving toward you in spite of the tribulations of life, Thank you for the Faith that keep us holding on until the Triumphs are ours. We believe…We Trust…That’s why we pray that you will always find a large measure of Faith in our tents, in our collect hearts and in our communities, so with hearts full of Faith and Love we say so let Be Amen…. My wish is that Kwanza be more than a seven day Holiday season but a daily practice of community Principles…