Monday, January 18, 2016

Why Martin Luther King's words are still so utterly relevant.

Or... When My Want of Comfort "Trumps" God's Call for Love and Freedom....

Matthew 22:36-40

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

I just cannot fathom this university's choice in a speaker on this day!? This infuriates me, but then this has been happening for years and years and years and years... (Click HERE to see why this Pastor is choosing to protest his alma mater's choice in a speaker to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.)

This is what breaks my heart over and over again. That our want of a comfortable and discord free life Trumps the call of Christ to stand for freedom, justice for the oppressed, and above all LOVE for ALL people.

Our privilege to choose comfort and peace through willful ignorance is a travesty. The way we continue to tell ourselves that racism is over and gone…

 That is a lie "we" continue to play on repeat because "we" can, but not because it's true.

Friends please today of all days take some time to actually re-examine the facts of racism in today's world.

Even better? Speak with someone who is a different shade or ethnicity than you and humbly ask them to share their personal life experiences with racism and then listen... Please, I beg of you to really listen with your whole heart… With God's heart that cries out for love and justice.

(Seriously my friends, please go do this because you will not understand what I am writing about or why Martin Luther King's words are still poignantly relevant right now, today, until you do. Or at the very least watch the first 6 minutes of this video. Please consider watching the whole thing. Click HERE

You may find it surprising and even shocking to hear the things your friend, neighbor, or co-worker has experienced, but please do not just stop there with your reactions. I beg of you do not choose take the luxury again of stopping there.  Let these feelings of shock and indignation take root. Let them grow in you a compassion for others who are still daily experiencing racism. Let these experiences that your friend shares, develop in you a passion that exceeds your empathy, moves you beyond complacency and emboldens you to say,

"I will not ignore this anymore. I will not choose my plush comfort and want of a discord free life over another's right to equality and a life without fear. I will no longer afford myself the luxury of choosing to shut my eyes, stick my fingers in my ears, and hum a tune of willful ignorance to this evil.”

My friends, will you stand with the greatest of God’s commands and say,

 “Yes, I will love my neighbor as myself. “

Therefore, since I do not want to be judged by the color of my skin, but as Martin Luther King Jr. requested, “By the quality of my character.” I will stand against those who continue to let the color of another’s skin to dominate their reactions and actions.

Every time I hear Martin Luther King Jr. speak it brings me to tears because his words are still so relevant today and that is a very grievous reality for me. It should be a very grave reflection of our land of the free and home of the brave... Well, as long as it doesn't make me uncomfortable that is. One would think by now this dream might be a reality, but it's still a work in progress and it will continue to be because…

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
-Edmund Burke
My friends, if I love God with my whole heart as the beginning of that command asks then I should cry out with Him against this injustice. 
Church… I fear we are too close to this passage in Isaiah 58, where we cry out for God to move and ask Him why He isn’t showing up, but ignore our very own culpability to these travesties.

Please God, let us awake. Let us answer your call.
Will you pray for racism to end? 
Will you take a step forward in understanding what so many are facing in our very own nation right now, today? 
Will you stand? 
Will you step forward? 
Will you be the change you wish to see in the world?