Kwanzaa From A Christian Perspective

Although Kwanzaa is a cultural and not religious holiday, those who practice the Christian Faith in America, can use the principles of Kwanzaa to build and enhance their families and  communities, and elevate the political dialogue on issues of importance to all Americans.  Hence, 7 days before the start of Kwanzaa, we offer this Kwanzaa perspective for Christians, as it relates to the Seven Principles.

Unity/Umoja: Psalms 133:1. How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity. This bible verse reinforces the unity principle of togetherness and harmony and instructs that our speech, strategies and behavior should be directed toward bring people together as oppose to the divide and conquer, demonize and dominate approach that is all to present in our social relations and politics.

Self-determination Kujichagulia: Timothy 4:12.  Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Timothy urges us to lead by example, avoiding the herd mentality and the temptation to go along with crowd or what’s popular.  In particular, he admonishes us to be exemplars in speech, love and faith.  Adherence to Timothy’s instruction would have a profound impact on our politics and on rearing of our children and youth.

Collective Work and Responsibility/ Ujima: 1 Corinthians 12:21-25. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. This verse reminds us that we are one nation, one people, and one world;  therefore, should be concern for each other.  What a different society and world we would have today if we extended the care and concern expressed in 1 Corinthians.  We certainly would have a different perspective on health care, domestic and gang violence, unemployment and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cooperative economics/ Ujamaa: Hebrew13:16.
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.  As reflected in this bible verse, Christians are instructed to share their wealth and make sacrifices for others.  At macro level, this suggest that our economic system reflect principles , policies and practices of “shared wealth,” and that we have in place a social safety net for those who are less fortunate and are in need of assistance.

Purpose/Nia: Mathew 6:33.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Mathew’s admonishment is relevant and instructive for a world, especially the “superpowers” and “economically developed” nations that are so consume by the profit and control motive.  He suggests that the priority for nations should be on morality, ethics, and righteousness.  In pursuit of these high values, all other matters of importance-peace, global warming, nuclear disarmament, end of poverty and war- will come.

Creativity/Kuumba: Romans 12:1-2.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. This verse is a strong reminder that perfection is achieved through the renewing of the mind, set against high spiritual and ethical standards.  For youth, this verse suggests that progressive perfection, continuously improvement, comes about through the process of self-conscious ethical thought and practice.

Faith/Imani: Mathew 17:20 If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. In light of the state of affairs in the world today, this verse is applicable for so many people in the world who are struggling against insuperable odds to live a life of dignity and righteousness.  In today’s world where acts of evil defy reason and morality, and are seemingly more prevalent  than good and right, keeping faith is an act of extraordinary courage and, and a testimony to the human will.


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