Changing the World- MLK Jr

Today is the birthday of the late great Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Days like this, I wonder, have we succeeded in making his dreams come true?
Sure, we now have an African- American man in the Oval Office, but how is the prejudice and the racial stereotyping?
I personally think that we have just gotten really good at hiding our politically INcorrect language and feelings. Perhaps our children are not quite as prejudice as our grandparents were, but are they truly changing the world with true tolerance?  (By tolerance, I am not talking about today’s wishywashy understanding of tolerance, but God’s divine love where despite our brokenness and sin riddled souls he still loves us)- It is a known fact that to be prejudiced is actually a learned trait, it’s not breed into us like our eye color or height.
Faking tolerance by cleaning up our language isn’t what is going to change the world- it is in actually reaching out and creating relationships with those who we term ‘different.’ It’s about encouraging one another to change our basic attitude. It’s about learning to love one another on the truly spiritual Body of Christ way.
This means that our church, local and global, is the last place where prejudice should be found.
How is our church stacking up to God’s decree? When we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves in James 2:8; to love each other as Christ loves us in John 13:34; we were ALL created in God’s image as can be evidenced in Genesis 1:26-27; and God loved us so much that He sent His son to die for US ALL John 3:16.
Are we loving each other the way we should?
Are we loving each other as Rev. King had hoped we would by now?
You be the judge.
And remember- “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3: 38).”

“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend.” -MLK Jr
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”-MLK Jr

“Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies. (from MLK’s “Loving Your Enemies”)”

Here’s hoping that the world changes even more before we leave it. Praying for change and the gumption to be part of it.

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Please, meet me in heaven!

It’s been a couple of emotionally wrought months in my little valley.  We’ve had the highs, in the form of many weddings (I personally attended six in a month and a half).  And now we have the lows.

~We have celebrated the life of a older gentleman (J.P.) who gave of his time and finances to those in need.

~As a community we celebrated the faithfulness of a sweet 28 year old who died unexpectedly. She (S.F.)was a true sister in the Christ, who loved her Heavenly Father with every inch of her big heart. Even though her death was so unexpected with her being so young, her memorial service was full of laughter and rejoicing amidst the tears because we knew where she was going.

~This weekend, we gathered together to celebrate the graduation into Glory of a 92 year old woman (R.B) who is now wonderfully free of the Alzheimer’s that removed precious memories from this vibrant woman.  She is dancing before her Lord, the One she spoke about with such passionate love.

~And soon, we will once more come together to rejoice the home-coming of another saint. A warrior in the fight against the insidious breast cancer, (C.P.) was a woman who lived out her faith in a quiet way that rippled into everyone who came in contact with her. A role model of how to keep one’s faith strong even in the moments of such pain and uncertainty.

Even in so much sorrow, joy resounds.

Our tears of sadness are not tears of the hopeless.

We of the Faith do not say “Good-Bye” but rather “I’ll see you soon!”

In the quiet of the night when sorrow ‘s presence refuses to leave, we are held close by the Father who understands it all.

Rather than be alone in our grief, we turn to our family, the one that God created. The Church becomes a refuge of available shoulders and shared memories. Within the Church one can cry and others join in, and when laughter resounds, they share the joy.

Romans 12:15- “Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.”

 The difference is simple. I have been to too many funerals of those who have no hope in the eternal life with Christ, they never accepted the sacrifice that was freely given. And so, the sorrow was thick upon the brows of all those who mourn. My heart was so heavy with the grief of knowing that this wonderful person would not be in Heaven upon my arrival. I would grieve for the loss of that soul for the rest of my life.

The Father’s grief is so much stronger than mine. He mourns for every lost soul. These people whom He loves so very much refuse to turn to Him, they refuse to accept His gift of eternal life.

Matthew 23:37  –“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. “

 I would rather participate in a thousand more home- coming celebrations for the saints of Christ, than grieve for one more beloved lost soul.

So, I pray. I act. I tell.

Please my dear friend, let me tell you the story of the God who stepped off of His throne to be borne of a virgin. Let me tell you of the God I love, who of His own free will, died a horrendous death upon a cross, who stayed in the grave for three days to arise on the third. Let me tell you of my Savior who is at this moment in Heaven awaiting the time when He will come to judge the earth and all of its inhabitants of their sins.

Let me tell you of a Love never ending and all encompassing.

Please, just listen.

Please, meet me in Heaven.