EBONY AND THE MESSAGE OF GRACE
FAVOR AIN’T FAIR!
Yes, for me she was greatly talented. She could have easily been the best in her time had she lived a little longer. But I have also seen equally talented musicians who even did more than Ebony Reigns did in Ghana music, yet their death did not capture the hearts of many like that of Ebony. Personally, Daasebre Gyamenah was my favourite secular musician. His songs gave me a lot to think about in life. His lyrics even inspired some of my writings. However, when he died I only wrote a few lines to honour him. So, I find it difficult to understand how this girl has inspired three articles from me. For me, she has not done enough to deserve it, yet, people like Daasebre, Ewurama Badu and a few others who deserved it didn’t even get a single article from me when they died. When I consider all these happenings, one issue comes to my mind, that is, Ebony and grace.
After her death was confirmed, tributes quickly came pouring in from many dignitaries. For example, our president Nana Akuffo Addo tweeted:
“By all account, she had a very promising music career. My deepest condolences to her family, and to the families of the two others who died in the tragic accident. ”
Dr. Bawumia, the vice president tweeted:
“My deepest condolences to the family of the songstress, Priscilla Opoku Kwarteng known in the entertainment industry as Ebony Reigns and the families of the other two who lost their lives in the gory accident at Mankraso, last night. May their souls rest in peace.”
John Dramani Mahama, our Ex-President also tweeted:
A talented life cut short. My favourite track on domestic violence and relationships, “Maame hwe”.
Furthermore, during her one-week remembrance, we had some TV Stations covering it live. Some Ministers of state and other famous personalities came to offer their condolences. When I considered all these including her lifestyle, I thought to myself, “This girl doesn’t deserve all these by her works but she seems to have gotten it all just like grace.” Thus, Ebony and grace. Her life and aftermath of her death kept reinforcing the message of grace in my spirit. So I was very disappointed when it came out initially that her burial will be held at the Black Star Square. Because my spirit told me it has to be at the Statehouse. Grace offers the best. Grace dignifies. And the Statehouse also serves as a place where state funerals for dignitaries are held. Hence, taking it to the Black Star Square would be a dent in Ebony Reigns and the message of grace her life and death was highlighting.
Remember, what the prodigal son received was grace and not mercy. Mercy is exoneration from deserved judgment or punishment while Grace overlooks, brushes aside judgment and goes further to credit, favour and strengthen. Mercy says you owe and deserve judgment but I am going to cancel your debt and let you go free since you can’t pay. Grace says forget about your debt or judgment, they have already been paid for. Now, look at the great and marvellous things Jesus has freely done for you and have given to you.
The father of the prodigal son did not just refuse to punish his son for disobedience. He went on to do the unthinkable by making available to his son the best of what he had. He put the best robe on him, a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. He also killed the fattened calf for feast and celebration. Christ Jesus, who is the embodiment and personification of God’s grace, was the best God had and he offered him as a sacrifice for our salvation. So grace did not just free us from sin and judgment. It made us sons of God, co-heirs with Christ, priest and priestesses through Christ Jesus.
So later on, when the venue of Ebony’s burial was changed and brought to the Statehouse, I was filled with so much joy. I felt vindicated within my spirit about Ebony and grace. She didn’t deserve it by works but she got it like grace, while those we thought deserved it by their works and morality didn’t even get a fraction. Romans 9:30 -32 says, What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.
More related scriptures
20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Romans 9:25, 26
“I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people;
and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,”
26 and, “In the very place where it was said to them,
‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”
Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
Romans 11:5, 6, 11
5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. 11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works so that no one can boast.
So then my friends, if we can appreciate, preach and learn from characters in the bible like the adulterous woman, the sinful woman who wept and wiped Jesus’ feet, the Samaritan woman, Rahab the prostitute, Zacchaeus the tax collector, King David and Apostle Paul (formerly known as Saul of Tarsus), then I don’t think it should be difficult at all to pick up a great lesson about God’s Grace from the life and death of this talented young lady. Her name is Priscilla Opoku-Kwarteng, popularly known as Ebony Reigns. She died in a gory car accident at the age of 21 when she had just hit stardom in her music career. May her soul Rest In Peace.