I developed a love for TED talks during my first year in school. I was fond of taking out time to watch TED talks on the laptops of my friends. One particular talk that I’ll never forget listening to is The Danger of a Single Story by popular Nigerian (permit to add, Igbo) author and story teller, Chimamanda Adichie.
TED talks, by their very nature, aren’t very long talks. And in 18 minutes, Miss Adichie took her listeners through certain short but nonetheless powerful stories that had been built through out her entire life. Her message was simple: single stories are bad. Not only are single stories bad, but they also steal a certain form of dignity from the people being represented in them.
Depending on whatever part of the world that you are in right now, you may be in 2018 or just about to hop into 2018. And one thing is common with this season. It’s so common that it can even be considered a tradition. New year resolutions! Cuts across several religious worldviews and ethnic groups. Almost everyone makes new year resolutions, and almost everyone fails at them. What if I presented an alternative to the tradition? What if such resolutions were actually bound to fail, even before we stepped into the new year?
I’m not as consistent a writer as I’d love to be. The frequency of my blog posts can be high at one moment and then, almost as though I was injected with some sort of drug, become so low that it seems as though I stopped blogging altogether. The reasons for these short (and sometimes, long) hiatus are often not the same. Now, I don’t stop writing altogether. I journal, take notes from the books that I read and from the classes that I attend, sermons that I listen to, and write my random thoughts on my notepad app almost everyday.
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In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. (Luke 2:1-5)
Have you ever thought what an amazing thing it is that God ordained beforehand that the Messiah be born in Bethlehem (as the prophecy in Micah 5 shows); and that he so ordained things that when the time came, the Messiah’s mother and legal father were living in Nazareth; and that in order to fulfill his word and bring two little people to Bethlehem that first Christmas, God put it in the heart of Caesar Augustus that all the Roman world should be enrolled each in his own town?
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“My church is boring. It’s so boring that you can sleep all through the sermon.”
“How can a church exist that has absolutely no regard for youths? Their service is way too old-fashioned.”
“I don’t like how the pastor dresses. He makes me feel like I’ll end up being poor if I stay there.”
I’ve heard so many things from people when the issue of how they rate their local churches come up. I have also noticed that almost everybody has at least one thing that they are not comfortable with in their local churches. And the cause(s) of their discomfort will most times differ from one person to the other. So, it’s not strange seeing believers leave their churches to other churches where they are less “uncomfortable”.
He comes to you for a job
But you call him a worthless pig,
Hopeless and without a place in this world
And He bears it all without saying a word
You come to his backyard to farm
And he asks for a portion of the produce
But you call him a greedy robber
Yet, he bears it all without saying a word
One time, you meet him at a dinner
And you ask to be placed at a different table
You say that his mouth odour was like the smell of faeces
But he bears it all without saying a word
Your thugs enjoy beating him
One night they beat him till he can’t move
The tears flow freely from his shattered heart
All without him saying a word
Then you decide to go for the big kill
You murder his mother and sister in cold blood
You tell the world that they were evil people
And that they never deserved to live
He will come for you at night and set your house on fire
And you will perceive the aroma of your wife’s flesh
You will survive only to be shot from his pistol
“I never thought you could this,” you mutter as you die
But the truth is that he couldn’t do it before you came
You built a monster, one act at a time
He never said a word because he waited for your apology
And you said all the words, all, but the right ones
© Eleazar Maduka, 2017