For days, I have watched the news late into the night, during this pandemic that has me working all hours of the day and night; I have watched our cities burn and angry people take to the streets to protest the wrongful killing of a black man by police in Minneapolis... "say his name, George Floyd!" I have watched in disgust as our politicians have remained silent, giving no hope or wisdom to the masses who are grieving and hurting; not a word to suppress the anger and the outrage and the grief. We are a divided nation now more than ever, and my heart is heavy and my soul longs for unity and peace. I can't find the words, and I know that I am alone. I feel as though I am swimming in a sea of ignorance and apathy. The church is way too silent on this issue and too polarized to make a difference. I can't find the words... and then I reread Dr. King's letter from a Birmingham jail cell and it ignited my courage to speak... it should not lift your spirit but convict you to take action and change your direction! May God have mercy on us all! Amen!
A small excerpt from the LETTER FROM BIRMINGHAM JAIL - April 16, 1963, written by Martin Luther King, Jr.
"There was a time when the church was very powerful in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators"' But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide. and gladiatorial contests.
Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Par from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent and often even vocal sanction of things as they are.
But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century."