Monday, January 17, 2005

MLK Day

Hello gentle readers,

Today is the celebration of a great American, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I must admit that, living in the deep south, I have heard the argument for this special day from every side imaginable. I did wonder if it was an appropriate holiday since all the others for people in this country are for presidents. But, as always I did my research before I took a side on the arguments.

Today is a political and spiritual commentary. Please, hear me out before you turn away. Dr. King was an historic man for an historic time. I often think that the Lord gives us these extraordinary people to place a mirror in front of our own lives and compel us to look at ourselves in light of His truth. Acts 10 talks of the gentiles hearing the Good News of the gospel. Peter is speaking and says, (34)"I see very clearly that God doesn't show partiality. (35) In every nation He accepts those who fear Him and do what is right."(NLT) Let's just say the gentiles weren't considered to be special people. But, God in His mercy showed Peter that He came for all people, even though the Jews were His chosen. Through the adoption made possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus, all people have access to Amighty God. So...God doesn't show partiality.

Regretfully, humankind continues to show partiality. Black, white, gay, straight...it matters not to God. When God used the word "whosoever" in John 3:16, that's exactly what He meant. Just as God sent Jesus into the world to show us our sin, Martin Luther King rose to extraordinary heights for humankind to show us our partiality and our sin against our fellow man. Now, don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that Martin Luther King was equal with the Christ. What I AM saying is that now and again, ordinary people do extraordinary things which bring us kicking and screaming into a greater understanding of humankind.

Dr. King epitomized that call of God to show no partiality. He brought us into lunch rooms and rest rooms and motels of this country, the forefront of society, and held a mirror of hate up to the public and cried out that what we were doing was wrong...and wrong in the sight of Almighty God. Our faces may appear different, but our hearts are the same. We all want to be free to marry or to not marry, have children or not have children, raise our children in a good society, live in a safe society where war is no longer present. It matters not if you are gay or straight, black or white, of Asian descent or European. We all want the very same things.

I have grown appreciative of this holiday because every year, year after year, Dr. King posthumously holds a mirror up to our lives and challenges us to live in peace with each other. Today I would challenge you. Hold the mirror of freedom up to your life and ask yourself if you, or those in your small circle of influence, are really, truly free? If not, then take a page out of the book of Dr. King, the Bible, and lay your prejudice on the altar and ask God to consume the bad and refine the good and change your heart.

Today, choose to walk in peace with all mankind. And, take a moment to pray for the peace of our world that not one more person die for another's evil or prejudice. In so doing, you will honor Dr. King for his supreme sacrifice to bring about a peaceful change in our society.

2 comments:

Robin said...

Dear Rev G.,
Your thoughts on Martin Luther King Jr. day are very true. I grew up in a more northern area than you, so I didn't experience the level of discrimination the South did. But yesteday, as I watched TV, many movies were about the injustices done and that are still being done to anyone who doesn't look white anglo-saxon. I realized how wrong it is to treat anyone differently and I felt some sense of shame for what has happened to those who are not anglo-saxon in this country.
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. We as Christians should take this opportunity to refine our inner selves that we might not make this same mistake over and over.
Thank you for bringing this to the forefront of my mind and making me THINK about this issue.
Robin

TheLesRev said...

Hi Robin,

Thanks for taking the time to read. I have struggled with MLK day not really truly understanding the scope of the contribution of Dr. King. But, I have certainly grown to appreciate the work he did and the sacrifice he made for an entire group within society. If only all of us would be that open to God's use!

Blessings,
CG