Today’s Reading: John 19:11 (NIV)
11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”
I tasted a little bit of heaven last night as I sat in the sanctuary of the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church. Our community gathers each year to remember and celebrate the life and vision of The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. This is one of my very favorite worship services; I look forward to it every year. And what a night it was! Folks from the St. Charles community came together to listen, pray and recommit themselves to the work of justice for all people everywhere. It is a time when we celebrate the sanctity of human life, recognizing that we are all God’s children, and that makes you and me King’s kids! How we worshipped the King last night, praising and lifting Him higher. We thanked God for His gift of freedom in Christ Jesus, and the vision He gave to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. This dream has captured our hearts ever since we first heard him speak the words in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963. We sang songs telling of the trials borne by our black brothers and sisters, and for all who have been caught in the iron grip of discrimination and slavery. Christ’s love continues to melt even the hardest of hearts, and we are moving toward unity, toward His kingdom. It is nearer than ever before. Can you sense the sweet breeze of freedom swirling around you today?
I sang songs of praise with the mass community choir. Every voice is a unique gift of God. None of our voices are exactly the same. As we lift our hearts in song to the heavens, many tones become One in Him. One day soon, I will sing in that heavenly mass choir surrounded by all the generations; those who have gone on before me, and the ones whom I will leave behind. We will sing together, hand-in-hand, with one voice. His melody will be beautiful. It will be awesome! It will be the abundant life we long for. I could have stayed there and worshipped in that beautiful sanctuary with my brothers and sisters forevermore! I’m already anticipating next year’s service, when we join hands and celebrate the precious gift of community, of our diversity and in unity, all together, once again.
Jesus knew first hand what prejudice and indifference can do. He bore the physical marks of humanity’s discrimination upon His own body. He carries the hatred of the world upon His shoulders; all of us are guilty and responsible for this sin. Jesus loosed the iron grip of prejudice forever and replaced it with God’s amazing grace. We remain in His grip today.
Today, we celebrate a new day in our world. May freedom ring as we take one step closer together toward the kingdom of God.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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