Martin Luther King Day Musings

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But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”
Amos 5:24

“There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3:28

I invite you to do a little experiment. Set a one dollar bill on the table, and beside it, place four quarters. Now ask yourself, which is worth more – the dollar bill or the quarters? They look different: one’s paper, one metal; they have different uses: one can go in a parking meter and the other can’t. But they are both equal in value, the one dollar bill and stack of quarters. There is no difference in how much they are worth.

We human beings come in different sizes, different colors, different gifts and abilities, but we are all equal in God’s eyes. The black skinned Nigerian who was murdered by Boco Haram terrorists is of no less worth than the Parisian cartoonist murdered by AQAP terrorists at the offices of Charlie Hebdo. And yet, last week over 40 world leaders and millions of people gathered to protest the deaths of seventeen people in France, while Nigerians, almost alone, mourned the deaths of hundreds, possibly even thousands in rural villages and continued to remember the hundreds of girls kidnapped by Boco Haram.

As we move toward Monday’s observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we must recommit ourselves once more to justice and equality as God’s children. Let justice be offered not only to those who look like us but to all people. Let our outrage at terrorism be as great when it occurs on the African continent as in Europeans. When diseases like Ebola strike, let’s not wait for mounting death tolls to include people like us – let’s work to bring healing and hope no matter where, no matter what the victims look like. Let’s remember, that while we may look different from each other, we are all of equal value before God’s throne of grace. As our youth sing, “What color is God’s skin? It is red, it is yellow, it is black, it is white. Everyone’s the same in the good Lord’s sight.”

Prayer: Gracious God, open my eyes to see the world as you see it. Open my heart to love all your children equally. Open my hands to serve your people and seek justice for each of your children, regardless of where they live, how they look or what language they speak. For I ask it in the name of Jesus Christ, who died that all might live. Amen.
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