Martin Luther King holiday

“And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.  There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female.  For you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham.  You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.”  (Galatians 3:27-29, New Living Translation)

The U. S. holiday we observe today honors both a man and a movement, the impetus for each being the Gospel of Christ.

All of humanity’s propensity to divide; to discriminate based on those divisions; and to elevate one group above another, is evidence of our corrupt nature.  The antidote to this poisonous practice is the acceptance of — and obedience to — our Jesus.

It is important to note that the movement for racial equality in our nation did not begin in the courthouse; and it did not begin in the statehouse; and it did not begin in the schoolhouse.  It began in the community of Christ: The Church.  The Civil Rights Movement’s anthem, “We Shall Overcome,” was sung in the worship services and prayer meetings of the Christian faithful long before it appeared on folk music play lists.

Only in Christ is there true equality of persons.  This message is both our heritage and our future.  – Luther

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“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter.  For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’  So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.  The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.”  (Exodus 13:17-18, NIV)

Sometimes, God chooses for us the longer path, not because He wants to inconvenience us or to delay our progress, but because of perils unseen, unknown, or unappreciated.  In the case of the Israelites, they “went up out of Egypt ready for battle,” but they were in no way ready to take-on the mighty Philistines.

So, do not fret the fact that the path to your desired goal may be lengthened; or the fact that your many preparations may go untapped.  However, be sure of your relationship with your heavenly Father and always trust in His all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful nature.  These qualities benefit us when we walk with God.  – Luther

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Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.  (Romans 14:19, NIV)

Is your and my ambition to do the things that lead to peace?  In our interactions with others, do we aspire to build-up the other as we seek to become better ourselves?

These are simple tasks, and within reach of each one of us.  Through obedience to God in these two things, we can change — for good — the nature of our personal relationships, our business relationships; and the atmosphere in our homes, churches, and schools.  – Luther

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