Monday, January 19, 2015

A Thought for Monday 19 January 2015

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”  Martin Luther King, Jr

Dr. King was not only a leader of the Civil Rights movement; he was a voice of conscience for this nation’s Christians many of whom were largely unwilling to hear what he had to say because he was a black man.  Indefensible, of course, but largely true.  As the religious leaders of Alabama suggested to Dr. King and the Movement through a newspaper ad (and which prompted Dr. King’s now-famous “Letter from the Birmingham jail”), things were just fine in Alabama and “outside agitators” were only stirring the pot.

This many years later, however, it is clear things were not fine.  This many years later great strides have been made for Civil Rights though it should be noted there is much more to be done.  Yet while we cannot deny the reality of racism which still exists in many segments of our society, we also should not deny that Dr. King’s burning question is one that transcends race and should be at the forefront of any discussion held at any church across the land – because the question is not strictly about race or race relations.  It is very much a question Jesus would be asking, it is the question posed today by the Holy Spirit, and it is (as Jesus and the epistle writers maintained) the essence of the Divine Law in which the people of The Lord are commanded to “love your neighbor as yourself”.

Churches do and must have discussions about resources, paying the bills, etc., but The Church (as the Body of Christ) must be thinking more directly toward responsible “stewardship” of available resources primarily for the sake of “others”.  Rather than to consider ourselves our own primary audience, The Church must always consider why The Church was called forth in the first place.  It was not for self-aggrandizement, it was not for self-satisfaction or internal entertainment, and it was not strictly so we could have a place to gather each Sunday.

If The Church is not asking itself this question before every committee meeting, before every prayer meeting, before every worship service, before every gathering in the name of Messiah; then The Church is denying itself, its mission, its holy task.  It isn’t about give-away programs; it goes much deeper and requires more thought, more prayer, more introspection, and more personal involvement.  But if we members go to any of these functions of The Church only with the idea that The Church somehow owes us something, we are not being biblically honest.

Shall we go about The Lord’s business?  I think we must if we claim to “love” The Lord.

Come soon, Lord Jesus!


No comments: