What have we done to God's children? (Advent) - Tuesday, December 12

advent devotions 2017 lutheran indian ministries

What have we done to God's children? - Tuesday, December 12

"Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me"
Psalm 23:4 (NIV)

I went to a funeral earlier this year in May.

It was for a 91-year-old woman survivor of Auschwitz concentration camp.  She was the mother of a friend of mine.  Because at age 17 she could type and speak seven languages, she was allowed to live, although she suffered the same horrible deprivations of the other inmates.  She witnessed constant death.

Her funeral was an orthodox service and hearing the 23rd Psalm sang in Hebrew by the rabbi struck a mystical chord.  Seeing my friend and his two sons in their yarmulkes was proof of the grace of God as spoken of in this Psalm:

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The more I reflect upon and study American Indians, the more I realize many people have false ideas about them.  In many cases, they have no ideas at all.  We have what we came for after all - their land.

Inexplicably, American Indians, like my friend's mother, survived. 

This Christmas season, how are we to think of the story of the Good Samaritan when we are the robber who initiated the beating? What can we do for our Native brothers and sisters to right the wrongs of the past?

God is with us.  It's in His name, Emmanuel.  This season we pray that we are with Him and that he would open our eyes to the work He is doing in our land.

Help me be with you, Lord.

Galen Gritts (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma)
LIM Board Secretary
St. Louis, Missouri