Victims or victors:
who will inspire?
John 19: 28-30 and Luke 24: 1-8
However much we might want to we can’t change history, but by telling some of the untold stories we can understand it differently and make a better future!
October is Black History Month and I am always inspired by the stories of people I had never heard of before — the hidden figures who have overcome the adversity of racism to help shape our communities. There were some on television last night and credit to ITV for commissioning several new shows for Black History Month including, Alison Hammond: Back to School which heralded some black people whose achievements have been absent from the school curriculum for too long.
I hope Black History Month will continue to be a celebration of such people and as their stories are told, often for the first time, history will be understood differently and the future will be better for it. Raising awareness of the contributions of black people to our society is a much more positive way of combatting racism than the angry protests which I hope don’t hijack a month of celebration. The hidden characters and the untold stories will help us understand all history better through the lens of Black History.
As I look and listen for the stories to inspire me I have a question to ask: Was Jesus a victim of history or a victor for our future?
We remember how Jesus died on the cross, but the story didn’t end there because he rose from the dead to give the world new hope for the future. If the story ended on the cross he would have been a victim of a shocking injustice, but it didn’t end there! Jesus showed the world that he was a victor, not a victim, and because of that become an inspiration for so many of us to follow. The victims of circumstances can earn a lot of sympathy, but it is the people who overcome adverse circumstances who inspire and encourage us to follow their example.
Some people stop with their Good Friday experience of being a victim, but others persevere to rise up as victors. If we assume the identity of victims we will be overcome by our circumstances and ruin our lives, but if we change the circumstances that surround us we can be the victors who show how new life is possible! When Jesus said “it is finished” I can imagine hm talking about the story of the victim because that was the beginning of him being seen as the victor!
If you feel like a victim, and it can be of racism, sexism, injustice, grief or any form of adversity, you can let it ruin your life, but I pray you will show how to overcome the circumstances that confront you and be a victor who inspires us to find a new life. We remember how Jesus was a victim of injustice, but he didn’t let it beat him. He took a drink, bowed his head, then said: “It is finished!” and became a victor who inspires us.
We remember the stories of victims so we can learn the lessons from history, but it is the victors who inspire us to find new life for the future. I’m looking for inspiration from Black History Month and I don’t think I will be disappointed.