On this second Sunday of February, we received a powerful and meaningful sermon regarding the life of Methuselah. In the text, Genesis 5:25-27, we are offered the bare basics about his life. This man had the distinction of fathering a son named Lamech at the ripe old age of 187, and thereafter having more sons and daughters. Methuselah’s longevity is the longest recorded in the bible, as he lived 969 years. This in itself is remarkable, however, the true significance of Methuselah’s life is hidden. Pastor Victor notes that he is reduced to the number of years he lived, neglecting to clearly expound on Methuselah’s true contribution to humankind.
Just as Methuselah is confined to the prison of performance, only noting that he lived and died, people of color’s multi-dimensional portraits are typically flattened in the annals of American history. Our preacher explains that Black Americans’ historical and cultural significance is often limited in focus to fit the idea of American exceptionalism. Mainstream America enthusiastically spotlights our entertainers, sports stars, and some of our ‘firsts’, with no real interest in our lasting, significant and essential scientific, political, entrepreneurial and technological achievements.
Pastor Victor then delves into the concept of pebble possibilities, referring to the ripple effect that has much more significance than the initial percussive impact. There are possibilities that lives will be touched and perhaps transformed by your current act of service for kingdom purposes. While history books may not record the far-reaching effect of your deeds, God sees you and He will memorialize the good you have done for Him.
As we continue to proudly celebrate the significant contributions of Black Americans, let us remember not only the eponymous heroines and heroes of our culture. Let us embrace the significance, even if hidden, of every being who makes a contribution in the name of the Lord. Let us break out of the prisons of performance and acknowledge the ripples of pebble possibilities innate in each of us. Remember, Methuselah not only lived long, but he was Noah’s grandfather. You recall Noah and the ark, don’t you? Noah was the righteous man chosen by God to perpetuate the entire human race. Now, that is hidden significance.