Monday, January 16, 2017

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day - so much more than another bank holiday

Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his dream with the world.  He did more than denounce; he dreamt. He did not merely paint the bleak landscape of racial hostility in the world’s leading nation, but dipped his brush in vibrant colors and painted a country as it could be.”  Greg Morse (here) Right?
Today, we celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  He was such an incredible man.  He was a husband and father as well as:  brilliant, (skipped 9th and 12 grades, graduating High School at 15 and College at 19 and then continuing to Seminary…and won the youngest person at 35 to win the Nobel Peace Prize.), humble, loving, faithful, unwavering, courageous and about a hundred other qualities. 
After realizing as a child that African Americans were treated unfair and just plain terribly, he grew up and did something about it peacefully.  He used his words, (both in the Churches he preached in and the speeches he gave) as well as organized marches and non-violent protests.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is quoted a lot because his words hold power and truth (he was a Pastor after all!), but in today’s day and age his words are just as applicable.  Here are a few lines from his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech.
 I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Every time I read those words (and the rest of this speech) I realize it has somewhat come to pass, but there is so much work to be done.  And I think it starts with us.

Who did you last have over for dinner?  Who do you frequently get coffee with?  Are they like you?  Do they think, vote and look the same as you?  If so, may I encourage you to invite people over who look or think (or both!) differently than you?

Maybe you have a seemingly diverse group of friends that you hang out with.  When was the last time you had a conversation with someone who voted the opposite as you in the last election?  May I encourage you to be intentional about who you spend some time with this week and choose for it to be someone you wouldn’t agree with on everything politically and just see how it goes?

It's a lot easier to dislike, or maybe ever hate someone you’ve never had a conversation with whether it’s the color of skin, religion, sexual orientation, etc…  But when we eat dinner together, drink coffee together or just have a conversation with people -- we don’t as easily dislike or make hasty assumptions.  When we talk with people who are different than us we see that we all breathe air, drink water, eat food, sleep, talk, dream, walk, etc…  We likely have a lot more in common than we don’t.

We highly recommend this book to teach about MLK to your kids.  (I took a pic on insta the other day of it, if it looks familiar!:)

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