Today we honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by sharing a devotional from Pastor Victoria Curtiss, written as a tribute to him.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (NRSV)
Jesus said that anyone can love those who love them in return. What distinguishes people of God is the way we treat those who oppose us—our enemies. Just as God shows love to everyone, so are we to show love to everyone. This inclusivity is the meaning of “be perfect” as God is perfect.
What a fitting scripture for the day we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The key to the life of Dr. King is found in his Christian faith. He responded to violence with nonviolence, to hate with love. Dr. King was always looking toward reconciliation after the battle, because his approach was grounded in the gospel. He wrote, “It was the Sermon on the Mount, not a doctrine of passive resistance, that inspired the Negroes of Montgomery to social action. It was Jesus of Nazareth that stirred [them] with the creative weapon of love.”
Martin Luther King recognized that the heart of the gospel proclaims that love can really change a situation of conflict and enmity: love reaching out toward the oppressor, love pushing negotiation, love offering forgiveness and newness. It wasn’t that he lacked an appreciation for the persistence and power of evil. It was rather his evangelist’s faith. He really believed that the intolerant and prejudiced sheriffs and politicians were sheep who had strayed from the fold, who had the potential to be converted. However powerful evil is, love is more powerful still. “Remember him,” said Coretta Scott King, “as a man who refused to lose faith in the ultimate redemption of [humanity].”
Thank you, God, for the witness of Martin Luther King Jr. Guide me as Christ’s follower to love as you love—everyone without exception. I lift up my enemies to you and pray for their well-being. Amen.
How are you building your house? As we approach this week, Xochtil Dixon reminds us of how we can struggle if we build our house on anything other than the solid rock:
“Jesus knew the futility of building a house on sand. After warning the disciples to be wary of false prophets, He assured them that loving obedience demonstrates wisdom (Matthew 7:15–23). He said that everyone who hears His words and “puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (v. 24). The one who hears God’s words and chooses not to put them into practice, however, is “like a foolish man who built his house on sand” (v. 26).
When circumstances feel like shifting sands burying us under the weight of affliction or worries, we can place our hope in Christ, our Rock. He will help us develop resilient faith built on the unshakable foundation of His unchanging character.”
Author Mike Wittmer also encourages us to choose joy when we think from an ‘eternal’ perspective. Read more here.
Name something kids just love to jump on:
1 – the bed (71 votes) 2 – trampoline (20) 3 – couch (5) 4 – pile of leaves (4)
Congratulations to Heather from Howard, who won the Austin French CD ‘Wide Open.’
Jonathon shared his Monday Motivation from “Our Daily Bread” shared about how when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple tow elderly believers took center stage, Simeon and Anna who worshiped God even in their elderly age. The Bible inspires our age to motivate our hope in God.
I shared from “Remembering Christmas” sharing that during this time we do think about all the shopping we need to do and where we can find the perfect gift. “But what if our hearts could shift from what we are buying to what we are doing?” That we can balance gift giving and focus on being present with our Savior and our love ones. That when the wise men came to see Jesus they spent time in His presence first then gave gifts.
Congrats to Jean and Jane from Mount Vernon for being being the 9th caller for the Christmas Gift Exchange! They are now entered into a drawing for one of our Three Grand Prizes that will be announce on Friday, December 23rd at 7:30am during the Moring Thing!