Today in the United States we celebrate the life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As a visionary leader who was deeply committed to achieving social justice through nonviolent means, Martin Luther King Jr. is honored as a formative figure in the fight for civil rights.
As we remember and celebrate his life today I’d like to share with you an excerpt from a pastor friend’s blog directly working in the area of racial reconciliation. Dr. Alvin Sanders works for Reach National, a ministry of the EFCA denomination, specifically in the area of African American Ministries and he shares in a recent blog the power of the gospel as the central force in bringing reconciliation to issue of race.
Many of us from an early age learn to wear ‘masks’ to hide who we really are in an attempt to make others like and respect us. We may hide our weaknesses and flaws, but in reality, we are not realizing our God-given potential because we are bound by an incorrect, unhealthy attitude toward self. When our attitudes toward self are distorted, we are not able to fully fulfill the unique role that God has created for us in His divine plan.
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Galatians 5:14
I love to simplify. Much of my job for the last 10 years has been to take less than easy concepts and teach them to people with little to no education. I enjoy the challenge of sitting down and pondering what is the most essential thing that we need to know on any topic. If we strip away everything but the core, what would be left?
I remember sitting in the back of a car traveling through the mountains of Bolivia when my driver, a professing Christian, finished his yogurt snack and chucked the empty yogurt container out of his window. I was appalled! How could someone blatantly litter and not feel guilty? I wanted to ask him if he thought that plastic container would just mysteriously melt in the sun??? Or remind him that basic science has discovered that it will take his plastic container 450 years to decompose!
Imagine for a moment two close friends that have a falling out. They have an argument that ultimately leaves them estranged and not speaking to each other. Their once close friendship becomes strained, and they slowly drift further apart, gradually becoming strangers.
The only solution to their fractured relationship is reconciliation.
The Bible says that Jesus came to reconcile all things back to Himself (Col. 1:19-20). He came to bridge the gap of separation and bring into harmony a friendship that had been broken by sin. This friendship is every person’s primary relationship, our relationship with God.