Indigenous Glory

The content of “the glory of God revealed in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:6) is described in the first chapter of John’s Gospel:  “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14).

This action of the “Word becoming flesh” is sometimes called an example of “bipolarity”.  “Bipolarity” refers to the relationship between opposites, such as the North and South poles of a magnet, or male and female persons.  The eternal Word who dwelt forever in God’s deepest being and glory (John 1:18; 17:5) is set in contrast with the low estate of humanity as “flesh”.  “Flesh” is something that needs to be transformed by heavenly power if it is to enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3- 8) and considered apart from the work of the Spirit of God it is spiritually “useless” (John 6:63).  It is this condition of impotence and frailty that Jesus entered in becoming one of us.

The climax of the bipolarity of the Word –flesh relationship in Christ is the cross.  Here the supreme weakness of human flesh is exposed in the terrible death of the Son of God.  In the dreadful cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34) there is no semblance of human strength whatsoever.  Yet, paradoxically, Jesus personally tells the suffering apostle Paul, “power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9).  In the supreme weakness of the cross Jesus was more open than ever before to accept as true the reality that “power belongs (exclusively) to God” (Ps 62:11).  Christ’s fullness of the experience of complete emptiness (on behalf of us) opened up his own soul in anew way to the power of God.  This was the power revealed and released in the resurrection.  It was not a power of this world or the things of this world but the power of the new creation.  How does this relate to indigenous Australians?

By and large, aboriginal Australians are the materially, socially and politically most disadvantaged group in the community.  This can be looked upon as a curse or as a potential.  Through the eyes of faith (Heb 12:1 -2), it is possible to see that it is this group of people who are closest to the weakness of the cross and so nearest to the threshold of the resurrection.  The condition of their humiliation, their self – evident “flesh”, opens up the possibility of a release of resurrection power that is unlikely to occur amongst the more “powerful” of our world.

Many prophetic – intercessory ministries sense that the work of God cannot be mature in our nation without a spiritual renewal amongst the first – peoples of the land.  If their social, emotional and material state is nearer to the cross than our own then, in principle, they are the people best to appreciate the full meaning of grace.  When the Spirit is released with power amongst he first Australians they will have no doubt that their experience was grounded in the unconditional mercy of God.  Unlike us “good middle class people” it will be to them a clear manifestation of “grace upon grace”(John 1:16).  Since “what goes deepest to the conscience goes widest to the world” (P.T. Forsyth), the emergence of mature Christian aboriginal communities will clearly reveal the grace f God to wider culture.  Pre – eminently this will mean a tremendous desire on the part of black Australians that their countrymen experience both the fullness of their forgiveness and the forgiveness of God.  The two will be shown to be completely inseparable.

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