A Christian pow wow, is that possible? Isn’t that an oxymoron or at best synchronism? Over the last 4 years I have had the opportunity to lay aside my stereotypes about indigenous people, indifference to their suffering and judgment over their choices. As I have gained knowledge and understanding I have come face to face with God who has challenged me in my self-righteousness and participation in the genocide of these, God’s people, through my ignorance, apathy and condemnation. When I hear some of the stories I weep for their suffering and the cruelty of those who don’t know what they saying when they declare, “oh, just get over it.” I weep for me because I was once one of those people. I weep for God because we have used his name as a justification to destroy a people who are just as precious to him as we are. So this weekend I was at a Christian PowWow and if you were present you would concur with me that it was one of the most Christian events you have ever been too. That is of course if the God you worship loves to see His children dance upon the earth in celebration of Him, or if your God loves to hear voices raised in prayer through song, declaring the name of Jesus to the echoing heartbeat of the drum. Through song, dance and drum, the earth and the day as the Lord’s was welcomed, the Trinity, community and friendship embraced. Gratitude was expressed in the honouring of others, generosity was demonstrated as gifts were poured out upon all people, laughter was shared and Jesus was lifted up.
In time before we can imagine, indigenous people were praying to Creator. The leaders of our Pow Wow did not take anyone’s word that Creator, was the God of the Bible. Dr. Cheryl Bear investigated different tribes to learn about Creator. The people were invited to share who Creator was and with little exception Creator was give the attributes of God in the Bible. Does that spark anything in you?
Friends, I want to invite you to seek to understand our indigenous people not from a perspective of fear, judgment or superiority, but as an honest desire to see them as God see’s them. Then if we are so privileged they may invite us to partner with them for the Gospel of Jesus. We have much to learn from them.