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Day 7 of Kwanzaa - Imani

Pronounced: Eee-maun-eee

15. I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason 16. I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18. so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19. and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21. far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23. which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Ephesians 1:15-23

In “Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture” Maulana Karenga (the creator of Kwanzaa) describes faith (imani) as “a profound and enduring belief in and commitment to all that is of value to us as a family, community, people and culture.”

In further describing “faith” (imani), the author discusses it in terms of three main concepts: “the foundation of faith”, “faith in our people”, and “faith in our struggle”.

Regarding “the foundation of faith” the author speaks of faith (imani) as the basis for Kwanzaa as celebration and practice, and for unity (umoja) and the other Kwanzaa principles.  Faith is also the foundation for the purpose, effort and activities that flow from the ethics of Kwanzaa.  

In speaking of the “faith in our people”, Karenga raises an important concept found in African spiritual traditions, from Egypt on, when he states that “we are in the image of the Creator and thus capable of ultimate righteousness and creativity through self-mastery and development in the context of positive support.”  When we believe that we are made in “the image of the Creator”, and when we base our actions on that belief, we establish and promote faith in ourselves and in each other as people of African descent.  We establish and promote faith in our people.

And in describing the need to have “faith in our struggle” the author states that “we must believe in the value and validity, the righteousness, victory and significance of our struggle for liberation and a higher level of human life.”  For Kwanzaa to have real purpose (nia) and significance, it must have value and validity to us as a people.  And only we can give it that power via our faith (imani) and efforts.

What are you praying for in 2020? What steps are you taking to build a strong faith in your personal values and community leaders and family?


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