Sunday, January 15, 2012


Monday is the national holiday to honor the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  It took many years for the holiday to be fully accepted, but it now seems to me that it has been denuded of any of its power.  It seems that picking up trash and other community service has replaced the drive for complete justice.

Now we know that great strides have been made in the years since his death, but the work is hardly complete.  People are still not judged strictly on the basis of their character.   While some areas of life have become more integrated, the fact is that just one day before the holiday - Sunday - most Black people were in churches that are predominantly Black, and most white people were in churches that are predominantly white. Even in churches with a mixture of people, there is often a disparity in the level of intimacy among the different groups. The majority of people still like to be around what they are comfortable with and are slow to broaden their horizons or be totally without bias in their evaluations of people.

I encourage you this day to make a special effort to speak out for a breaking down of the remaining walls. When you hear someone say something insensitive, racist, or hateful, challenge them, and present the love of Christ.

To me, this day is not about honoring an individual.  I have found many of the celebrations to be idolatrous, elevating a man beyond where any man should be elevated or ascribing to him theological persuasions which he had long rejected.  It is also not the time to lay out all the flaws or inconsistencies of the man.  Few of us would look good under a high-powered microscope. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

Rather, inspired by the struggles of many to confront evil, let us be willing to pay the price to confront evil as well.  It is not simply racism. It is abortion, it is homosexuality, it is corruption, it is the unconstitutional grabs of power, it is calling right wrong and wrong right.  How many would risk a dirty look let alone time in jail?  The early Christians had that type of commitment.  I believe it will take that level of commitment now as we live in an evil day where men and women and inventing new forms of evil every day. Are you willing to pay the price? Jesus was, and he has asked us to as well.   Let us be resolved to be mouthpieces for our Lord among this evil generation.  We may not have a holiday named after us, but we will receive a "well done" from the Lord which we can celebrate forever.


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