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Posts Tagged ‘Beloved Community’

Cutting Through the Noise to Listen to MLK

In Uncategorized on January 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Submitted By: Gentry

There was no greater American preacher during the twentieth century than the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. Although other preachers such as Billy Sunday and Billy Graham transformed the Christian landscape by challenging individuals to engage and be transformed by the gospel, Dr. King realized that the gospel transforms societies and calls us into the beloved community.

Yesterday the 11 am service at Christ Church finished with a rousing rendition of Lift Every Voice and Sing, which is often known as the Black National Anthem. As I lifted the cross at the head of the procession the congregation sang that great interrogatory, hopeful question – yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet, come to the place for which our father’s sighed? – I was almost overcome.

As Sheriff Andrea Cabral said at the Roxbury YMCA’s MLK Business Breakfast on Friday, I’m thankful that Dr. King had a dream and went to the mountaintop, but I’m also glad that he marched with sanitation workers, stood up for Vietnam War protesters, and launched the poor people’s campaign.

Over the years I have heard several evangelicals whom I love question the impact or, on one occasion, even the faith of Dr. King because he had clay feet. Although King’s personal failures were particularly well documented since he lived in the twentieth century and was illegally wiretapped by his own government, I doubt in the end that his sin was greater than ours or many of the great saints – such as the ancient man whose faith we claim who repeatedly whored his wife to save his life – that have gone before. Those concerns may be the reason we neither study Dr. King’s sermons or social vision in our seminaries nor celebrate his life in our churches.

Today, as we celebrate the life of Dr. King, I hope that you can cut through the noise that sometimes surrounds his personal life to hear his clarion call to the Christ shaped life and beloved community. Pick up a copy of A Testament of Hope, wiki and watch some YouTube videos, or, even better, set aside some time to attend a celebration of Dr. King’s life and get a taste of the beloved community. In honor of Dr. King, approach today not simply as an opportunity for recreation, but for spiritual formation.

Thank God for Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. May our weary feet, continue marching to the justice beat, straining towards the beloved community always before us.

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