#NationalSolemnAssembly Joel 1:14
What is Solemn Assembly?
A Solemn Assembly is a gathering of the people of God where there is a pause on all their lives to look towards the Living God. In the bible there were different types Solemn Assemblies (Lev 23:36; Nu 29:35; Dt 16:8; 2Ki 10:20; 2Ch 7:9; Ne 8:18; Isa 1:13; Jer 9:1; Joel 1:14; 2:15; Am 5:21+). Some would include,
- Celebrations and Holy Days (Lev. 23:36)
- A special Sabbath (Deut. 16:8)
- Days to call God’s people to repentance and deep heart consideration before the Holy God (Joel 1:14).
Although these examples are instances in the Old Testament, a Solemn Assembly is a very practical way in which the body of Christ can turn together and pursue the Good Lord who rewards those who diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6). For this particular Solemn Assembly request, the third description listed, is currently what the focus will be.
Why Should We Call a Solemn Assembly?
Recently, several high profile cases revealed a persistent brokenness around issues of race in our country. It is clear that racial divisions still exist. Our desire is not to re-litigate the matters at hand, but rather to engage with what these trials have uncovered. Surprisingly, these events have deeply exposed that the body of Christ is far from unified on these issues.
God is building the body into one new man (Eph 4), not different men and women, but one. Therefore, God does not ignore anything in His creation, not even our cultural, ethical, economical, geographical, or social differences. No, but He wants these distinction as wide as the chasm between some of them that exist is. He wants us to have distinctive oneness.
This distinctive oneness celebrates an artistic God whose creativity fearfully and wonderfully made us (Psalm 139). However, in Christ we are His masterpiece (Eph 2:10). The word there is in the singular, hence we are one masterpiece, not many masterpieces. The body is made up of parts of a whole (1Cor 12). The parts that God has made us to be are being renewed by the glorious Gospel through the Holy Spirit (2Cor 3:18) and so they should never be ignored, but instead they should be celebrated. The glory of the Gospel is the fact that God can take our vast differences and diversities, and still view us as a whole.
An understanding of the aforementioned points is highly relevant to the issue of engaging with race, in light of the practical reality of the effects and affects of the fall, when combined with the fact that mankind is nurtured and socialized in vastly different ways. Additionally, unredeemed reasoning and processing across ethnic lines is not only a great encumbrance to our unity, but is also in many cases sinful, and thus needs to be Biblically transformed on all fronts. Therefore, we need to turn our faces and hearts heavenward, and our minds towards our brethren who look and think differently than us, and seek the Great and Mighty God, who is the One who binds us all together in Him.
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