Our Readers' Opinions
June 4, 2004
African days


I called my son from Africa (Hosea 11:1)

I smile a sad smile sometimes when my brothers in Christ twist around the Hebrew Christian scriptures to show how these writings tell us so much about the United States and Europe. The Shepherds Chapel and the Plain Truth Bible School in North America make this ugly mistake and convince many others. In actual fact, the place where the Bible mentions more than any other is in Africa – the Empire of Egypt.{{more}}
The early civilisations of Egypt, Ethiopia and the Sudan are all in Africa – as well as those in Asia. Today, Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Syria and Lebanon – these are the places around which faith in Yahweh came to be born and to grow. A brief word about Africa in the Bible scripture can open our eyes to the hidden truth.
The Hebrew Bible pictures God as the Mighty one who is the caring, scolding, aggressive and affirming father of the Hebrew people. In a parallel or perhaps a dialectical way, the scriptures depict Africa as the motherland, the rock, the refuge, the other/rival parent of the people. Don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself, but let me just mention an example or two.
Do you notice that from the springs in Eden Garden are the dramatic background for the human script and one of the rivers runs through Cush (Ethiopia and Sudan) (Genesis 2:10-14). Creation is a parable of Africa and Asia!
Africa takes a young slave named Joseph, and his family, and nurtures and integrates them into a community. The poetry of Exodus 12:37-38 reveals them to millions.
Yahweh leads some of them to become distinguished peoples in different lands. Africa is fruitful to replenish the earth with people.
Moses is a cultured Egyptian – has an Ethiopian wife of such quality that she causes a problem for her in-laws (Numbers 12:1-3), much so that it came to a confrontation.
Seven hundred years after these migrations, at a time of threat from the superpower of Babylon, people moved out into Africa to escape. They took prophet Jeremiah with them for safety. As usual many of them stayed on in Egypt (Jeremiah 43:7-13).
According to many scholars, the Book of Proverbs has a lot of African sayings in it. Africa Liberation Day summons people of faith to wrestle with the scriptures, free from racism. We must free the Good News from missionary insecurity and ownership (Gal 5:1).

Son, look after your mother (John 19:27).

Today, African Day, Caribbean people are absent without knowing it, as mother Africa faces crucifixion. It is an old story. When they undressed our mother and went into her parts, we were sleeping.
When they took her organs out to transplant them in their own sick latitudes, we were out liming.
When she prayed Nkosi Sikelele Africa and Lema Sabachtanií and God bless Africa and don’t leave me alone so – we asked the tormentors, what did she say?
When Africa looked at her Atlantic children, we were looking across at England, and looking up to North America. On Africa Crucifixion Day, we – Caribbean People – were signing contracts for our 20 pieces of silver.
After Marcus Garvey, Elma Francois, Bob Marley, Walter Rodney and Nita Barrow, it is our turn to forward our generation of prodigals singing, Ma, is your child come home.
Africa’s next day’s work is to build a turning spot for the world, leading to an opposite world without Bushs and Blairs and Sharons playing John Wayne.
But rather, people love their enemies where children sing Hosannas and Uhurus and lions laugh when mosquito crack a joke.

Oscar Allen