(Posted January 16, 2015)
When you look across the span of time and the people that God has chosen to be leaders of God’s work, there’s some good news to be had for the majority of us. It seems that God is partial to picking imperfect people. People who didn’t always do the good thing, or the right thing, or the smart thing. So maybe there’s a chance for the rest of us imperfect people to be picked for the team that will transform our hurting world.
No – God chose imperfect people like Martin Luther King, like Dorothy Day, Like Oskar Schindler. Why? Because they had qualities and a willingness to take risks to advance the spread of justice and peace.
This coming weekend’s holiday, of course honors Martin Luther King. The problem with a holiday like this is that too many people consider the Civil Rights struggle past history – even though our news is pockmarked by stories that tell us that life isn’t civil or right for a lot of people, based on their color, their ethnicity or their religious persuasion. The other problem is, too many people who aren’t members of the racial, ethnic or religious groups that continue to be persecuted are tempted to silently think, “so why should this matter to me?”
The fact is, as Christians it MUST. Martin Luther King marched on Washington. He had a dream. But the fact is, the other part of his dream remains unrealized. These days, the other part of his dream for equality, mutual respect and freedom is being shredded on a daily basis in the run-up to the 2016 elections. We need to learn that it is easy to turn back the clock on freedoms gained through the sacrifice made by others. We need to think about what we can do to make it right.
As we enter the post-Christmas phase, after we’ve praised and promised our love to a poor baby, we need to remind ourselves what Christmas was and REALLY IS about. I share with you the work of African American author Howard Thurman. We’ll be visiting The Other Part of the Dream , the unrealized portion, this week. --- Pastor Pat Kriss
"A Christmas Litany" by Howard Thurman
When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flocks,
the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart.