Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Lesson From the Hopi Indians

Today my wife and I were able to explore the Hopi Indian reservation.  We enjoyed some delicious food, we tried some "bread" made from water and cornmeal ash dried over hot stones, we toured a museum, admired their crafts and artwork, and were even able to watch a native dance being performed in the village we visited.  In retrospect, it seeks a little strange now that we were standing atop someone's roof to watch it. 

There were several things that were really impressed upon me.  First of all, even in these moderns times, the remain true to their culture.  It is true that they have cars and wear modern clothes for the most part, but they still live in the same style of house and maintain all their traditions.  Even the Hopi-owned hotel we stayed at was designed to reflect their simple architecture and to reflect their welcoming nature.  They interact with the world, they do business with the world, they even grow in terms of technology and such with most of the world, but yet they remain separate and distinct from the world.  In other words, they are in the world but not of the world. 

Another thing that was impressed upon me was their sense of community.  The dance we watched today was something called a Plaza Dance.  It is an all-day affair from sunrise to sunset where men dress in symbolic and ethnic dress and dance in lines to a simple beat of the drum.  At one part of the dance, the men pass out food to random spectators.  The community watching the dance as well as the dancers keep the focus on prayer to the "spirits" for a successful harvest to come.  It seems as though everyone in the community is involved in watching or participating in the dance.  It truly breaks my heart to see these find people trapped in a religion that will only lead to their eternal separation from God. 

What breaks my heart even more is that their false religion puts our true faith to shame in so many ways.  While they do all they can to keep themselves separate and distinct from the world, we do all that we can to make ourselves palatable to the world.  We do all we can to fit in.  Our music is modeled after secular music.  Our dress is based on the latest styles and fashions.  Church services are geared to be "enjoyable" by the world.  We even make up Christian versions of worldly things.  We do all we can to keep ourselves from being distinct.

Another thing that breaks my heart is they can pray, as a community, to false gods that can not and will not head their prayers while we struggle to get any kind of prayer groups going.  Prayer meetings at churches are generally sparsely attended and many times there is much more fellowship then seeking God in prayer.  Not only that, but they tend to last about an hour.  I wonder how many members of any church would attend an all-day prayer service.  I daresay not many at all. 

In the end, my heart breaks for my Hopi friends who are in bondage to a false religion.  I wish, I pray, that Jesus can pour His spirit upon them so they can be filled with the Holy Spirit instead of dancing to false ones.  I wish that because they can be an example to the rest of us.  We have lost that idea of being a community.  We have lost that idea of all being on in the Lord.  We are not longer a body of believers but, in large part, a collection of individuals each with our own agenda and interests.  We have lost the ideal laid out by Jesus of being in the world but not of the world and we did so at our own loss.  I only hope it is not too late to get it back.
I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  John 17:14-16 NKJV

No comments:

Post a Comment