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Faith of A Mustard Seed

by Barbara Woods-Washington
Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

40 years ago I was standing in the Pulpit of Gordon Road Church, Atlanta, as Pastor.  My first appointment after graduating Master of Divinity, Gammon Theological Seminary.  It was such a great work that I’ll only take remembrance now of the Children and the Youth Ministries; at the moment in time of the “Atlanta Missing and Murdered Children’s Crisis”.

This whole thing that Dr. Thurman came to see is that ‘when knowledge comes’ “the relations between things are seen for the first time.”  Not a small thing at all that this current ‘worldwide web’ of ‘artificial intelligence’ is occupied with ‘4 Types of Knowledge Representation’; “Relational Knowledge” at the top of this list.  But in dropping the ‘artificial’ from ‘intelligence’, so much has been written on the essence of ‘relational thinking’ where the individual life is constituted by seeing and understanding their relationships to some things other than themselves.  I am reminded of this major cognition gained as Pastor: Five generations of Family life… living… in the Church… or not!  A relational knowledge that matters far too little in our current existence.  But,  ‘when knowledge comes’ “the relations between things are seen for the first time.”

I have in the last year, built a line of T-Shirts with 400+ designs. (Talk about God in Creation)!  The Catalogue is HBCU themed.  The knowledge gained in studying the histories of each school is beyond spiritual enormity.

Observing, again this thing “Education is legislation”.  The 1954 “Brown vs. The Board of Education” resulted in the closing of 12 HBCU Community and Junior Colleges in the state of Florida alone by the time of the Civil Rights Act.  West Virginia had 3 HBCUs.  “Brown” brought integration to two, West Virginia State and Bluefield State with an influx of white students.  The 3rd, Storer College was shut down in 1955.  Talk about a loss of knowledge… Storer College, Harper’s Ferry, WV.

Some things are said at every opportunity.  When I began teaching Philosophy of Religion, I soon came to terms with the warfare; much akin to warfare in the Church’s Bible Study Classes.  Knowledge… came… to see that this was the very first public religion course that every single one of us has had… AND on the College Level!

So this ‘Knowledge of Salvation as Bible identified in the Christmas texts IS… Life!  The songs of the Church continues to resonate for me to give the understanding that my ancestors transmitted through their faith.  “We have heard the joyful sound… Jesus Saves.  Jesus Saves.  Spread the tidings all around, Jesus Saves.  Jesus Saves.”  My people are destroyed for lack of Knowledge —of Salvation.

This “Knowledge of Salvation” is a story yet untold!  So Imma just repeat the Christmas Story from last week’s column… in continuation of the Season:

“To consider Knowledge being Biblical is to first look to see where it is located in scripture.  Starting out with the First Chapter of Luke.  WOW.  What a Word to receive in this Christmas Season. 

“And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord”.  And Elizabeth also gives birth to a son which folk want to know why she chose the name John?  “None of your kindred is called by that name”.  As this text unfolds, John’s Father, Zachariah is filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,”.

“Knowledge of Salvation” —for Christmas!”

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