Gimme Dat Old Time Religion
Gimme Dat Old Time Religion
Gimme Dat Old Time Religion
It’s Good Enough For Me

Someone said “honor your roots.” This is not to say be totally controlled by them. Neither is it to say that we uncritically accept everything that our past has taught us. However, it does mean to say that our past deserves to be listened to. We go to the Bible expecting to hear a word from God because it is here that we have heard God in the past and it is here that our ancestors went to hear God.

Our slave singer invites us to consider the “old time religion.” She invites us to consider the religion that brought the Hebrews through the the terrible ordeals that those people had to go through. Thus the singer invites us to consider that that religion that helped them through what they had to go through will ultimately help us through the storms that we face today. In fact, it will even “do when the world’s on fire.”

Now some want to get into a semantic argument over the difference between “spirituality” and “religion,” but that is an intellectual debate that the slave singer who finds herself in the midst of hell leaves to others. The singer has credentials in pain that many of us could never know. Certainly there are some who may read these words who may dismiss them, but I encourage you to just listen. The singer simply is telling us in the best language that she knows to remember the God that has been with you in the hurtful circumstances of life. Just like the ancient Hebrews whose religion “was good enough” for them, let us remember that God that is with us in the depths of bondage. Remember that God who gives us the strength to hold on “just a little while longer.”

And then recognize that that same God will be with you into the future. The slave singer says that it “will do when the worlds on fire.” That is telling us not to fear even a world in flames for that same God that got you through in the past, will one day in the future take you to eternity.

Holy God, we thank you for your being with us int he terrible past. We thank you for guiding us through the painful circumstances of life just as you did with the ancient Hebrews and our ancestors in American slavery. We call on you to continue to be with us as we march into the uncertain days of the future. We know that you will bless us.


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