Prejudice and Silence

Moses the prophet, Russian icon from first qua...

Another day when a council was being held in Scetis, the Fathers treated Moses with contempt in order to test him, saying, ‘Why does this black man come among us?’ When he heard this he kept silence.  When the council was dismissed, they said to him, ‘Abba, did that not grieve you at all? ‘He said to them, ‘I was grieved, but I kept silence.’

 

—-Sayings of the Desert

The question was posed: “Why does this black man come among us?” Admittedly,it never occurred to me that race would be an issue in the very early church, but here it is right in front of us. For centuries man has struggled with the difficulty of becoming an accepting and open church. There are so many among us who cannot get past some very old and unjustified prejudices. That aside, let us learn from Abba Moses. Sometimes this pain is best handled in silence. In our “fix it” world, we are all to quick to protest if we feel  our treatment is unfair, but the father bears it in silence, and in that silence victory is won. In this silence the voice of God is heard. Remember that next time you feel unfairly treated, and let God speak to you.

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