Bought from the Slave Market
A colleague of mine recently recounted to me this personal, true story. Let me share it with you as he shared it with me.
I was walking recently with my 14 year old daughter through the open market area in Charleston, South Carolina. It is a long row of shops running the length of the street down towards the wharf. It is kind of an unusual looking thing and as we were strolling by my daughter asked, "Dad, what's that?"Christ says we have been redeemed (literally - bought from the slave market), and as such we have been given the ministry of reconciliation. As we observe the day to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, let's ask ourselves if we are willing to be instruments of reconciliation to those around us.
As I looked down the row of shops, I replied, "Oh, that's the market area that they've restored. It dates back to the pre-Civil War days when they would bring all kinds of things to trade." It was at that moment that I felt like I was hit in the back of the head by someone's fist. I was suddenly made aware of something. I continued to share with my daughter, "You know, that's what this place is, but what it was ... it was a real sad place. Because down at the end of this street is where they would bring other things to trade - they brought slaves. The slave traders would bring people here each day to be bought and sold. It was a very sad time in our history when souls were traded like objects." My soul was grieved as I related the story to her. It became so real to me that I began to cry.
As we walked along together in silence, we must have walked another three blocks, my daughter spoke up and said, "You know, Dad, if I had lived back then and I had been rich, I would have come down here each day, bought all the slaves I could, and set them free."
And I thought ... we are those rich people. We walk in the marketplaces each day and we are around those who have been made slaves to their own sin. There is a trade going on every day; souls being sold into bondage, and we are those with the riches. The question that bugged me was - would I be like my daughter? Would I be willing to come down to the marketplace each day and buy back as many as I could?
Scripture: II Corinthians 5:18-20 - "All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation ... we are therefore ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: be reconciled to God."
Action Point: Talk to someone today about the tremendous price that Christ paid to set you free. For an excellent article on the ongoing struggle for racial reconciliation, see "Let's Give the Dream New Life" at: http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/mlk/givedream.html.
Return to Ministry Minutes Index