For many years I have studied, watched and been a part of churches being birthed.  I’ve had the privilege of being part of the developing and growing of churches, ministries, and individual lives as each revealed its own shape, size and personality.   Through doing so objectively as a woman, I learned some hard lessons where objectivity and the art of not accepting offense became my safeguard.  Through my own awareness of personal growth, I accepted the healing that Christ provided on the Cross at the ninth hour.   In terms of man’s time spiritually, we are probably globally at “the ninth hour.” Thick darkness is coming upon the land!

I was in the garden early one morning when everything looked clean, clear, and sharp.  It had an added brightness which reminded me of when I was first baptized in the Spirit and called into ministry! In this early morning meditation, I had again been renewed, refreshed and realigned with the work Christ completed on the Cross.

I was reminded of when I first came to America and Rosy Parks who one day decided she was no longer going to sit at the back of the bus.  What ensued for an entire nation was an overdue struggle for the return and realigning of this nation’s purpose—freedom, legitimate and official freedom, not just for the black man but for this courageous black women and all people!  Her actions like Queen Esther’s brought freedom not just for individuals but for an entire race of people.  It was, at that historic moment, freedom that came with being part of a citizen of the United States of America.

As we look around us and read the headlines, even now the fact is that not everyone has accepted this freedom or received the truth that with the freedom comes responsibility.  It is a freedom that requires living into what they have been given, not up to it through hand-outs or entitlement. Hence, many now are still in the old bondage of old ways, both black and white.  They may have received it, but they keep trying to “live up” to it, a reaction which causes great struggle.   Freedom is a mindset, one, I might add, that has great responsibilities.  As a mindset, then, it is an attitude that produces action and proves itself by becoming a lifestyle.   Once achieved, it must be fought for to be maintained.

This freedom is depicted by the crown of life that Jesus Christ spoke to God’s people about, “Behold, I come quickly. Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”  [Revelation 3; 11]  Don’t let anyone steal it!

Because this nation was established on religious freedom, when the black race was given freedom, it was primarily [though not exclusively] a “religious” freedom and, as such, included all people of all races and both genders.

Black, white, male or female, let us pray for the courage to stand in the full freedom we have been given, not as a struggle against someone else, but fully accepting and living the truth by example.  If we believe these things, then we become these things and nothing or nobody outside oneself can change it.  The old way is invalid; the new way is inevitable and inescapable.  YOU CAN’T GO BACK!   No more sitting down in the back of the bus, the back of the pews or on the sidelines.  No more hiding in the shadows.  Since that awesome moment of God’s mercy and grace, we are free, whole and totally restored.  We must live into what God has accomplished for us.   We must no more listen to the “noise” of immaturity or live as little piglets not even able to feed themselves, but live able to fly as on eagle’s wings.

This season is God’s final and finest hour when He shall reveal the fullness of the work completed by Christ at the “ninth hour.”  “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus”  The government of this nation has fought for this freedom and “got it,” but what of those that this word was written for…what of the church?

Rev. Diane Hale

August, 2015