A Sukuma Ethnic Group, Tanzania proverb says The
guest brings benefits to the family of the host. When a child is born the Sukuma
say "A guest has come." "She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for
he will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). The Hebrew and Aramaic
forms of "Jesus" and "he will save" are similar. Jesus as guest comes to heal
here and now. For Africans a God who saves tomorrow is not a saving God. In the
following Sukuma prayer for healing, Look On Your Child and Heal Him/Her, the
here and now is stressed:
"So and so (name of deceased ancestor), look on your child
and heal him/her. When? Today. May your child give birth. When? Today. May the
rain come. When? Today. May our cows give birth? When? Today. May we have
well-being both in body and soul. When? Today. May all that is bad in our lives
be thrown into the lake and be eaten by the crocodiles. May we live in peace.
And may you God please help us."
A Christian version of this prayer is: "May Jesus Christ
our ancestor and healing guest who ‘is able for all time to save those who
approach God through him’ (Hebrews 7:25) heal us soul and body. When? Today."