A colleague minister approached me personally and asked me if I could find someone who could do rap to help enliven his Christian youth group. I was pondering that recently as our Campus Ministry served a meal at Faith Mission’s homeless shelter. These men have such great spirit. I bet someone knows how to rap, I thought to myself as the evening began.
Before we served dinner, James, a Capital Law student with our ministry, shared a reading from the Gospel of John. The account tells the story of Thomas’ struggle to believe in the resurrected Jesus. One of the men, Richard, reflected with us on how hard it is to trust, to believe in anything, let alone the Risen Jesus! We all pitched in with stories of struggle around faith and wanting to believe. A bond was formed among us even before we served dinner. Throughout dinnertime the men were connecting with us, thanking us. It was beautiful. I kept thinking. I bet someone knows how to rap. Following clean-up, some stayed behind with us. I called out into the dining hall: “Who can do rap?” One of the young men called back: “He does!” pointing across the room to a man in his 50’s. The man was modest and rather shy for just a moment, but then burst out with a spontaneous perfectly rhymed and rhythmic song around students, studying, working, serving at the Mission, believing in Jesus. We started dancing. I heard a Mt. Carmel student call out: “Go for it, Dr. O!” Jesus is Risen. And I want to get back to my colleague. I have a rapper!