We had a very interesting day yesterday. It was inspirational, spiritual, informational and motivational. How 'bout that?
University Church had as guest speaker Reverend Melbalenia Evans, a dynamic, engaging orator. We love it when she visits. Rev. Evans is certainly a proponent of United Church of Christ's, God Is Still Speaking initiative because her biblically based sermons, are always socially and contemporarily
relevant. She makes the connections and she keeps it real.
Sunday's scripture from the book of Amos whose theme is that faith in God is best evidenced by how you live. (Dr. King also draws from Amos in his "I Have a Dream" speech).
Celebrating Dr. Martin L. King, Rev. Evans spoke of how God worked through this man. That he was a true co-worker with God. That King used his eloquence to lift up the oppressed in the face of spit, fire and death to speak on God's behalf.
Then, launching into the theme of her sermon, "Held Captive", Rev. Evans started with a demonstration of the kids game London Bridges, showing how the captive person has restricted movement. Of course, this refers to the restrictions placed on African Americans, but Rev. Evans also made the connection of how God is being held captive in today's world. She pointed out that God does not honor a church service that does not honor God, but only the people giving the service. That God is held captive by churches that erect barriers and only pray exclusively for themselves. That God is dishonored by bashing or brutalizing same gender loving people, pushing seniors aside, racism, invading a country that calls God by a different name. God is held captive by churches and individuals who misappropriate the bible to justify injustice.
We sang We Shall Overcome and the wonderful Regina Bunton sang Precious Lord. Her voice is heaven.
That evening we went back to church for an informational gathering regarding School of the Americas. Listening to first hand experiences from our church member about losing his family members and other horrors was made harder when I realize that the USA sponsors the training of those who commit such acts. Our Rev. Don Coleman spoke of how he came to the decision to step over the line at Ft. Benning GA and get arrested in an act of civil disobedience. He and 15 others have a trial date January 29th. We support him with all our hearts. Love you Don!
MLK Quotes and a Tidbit
"There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society, with a large segment of people in that society, who feel that they have no stake in it; who feel that they have nothing to lose. People who have a stake in their society, protect that society, but when they don't have it, they unconsciously want to destroy it."
"We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly I have never yet engaged in a direct action movement that was "well timed," according to the timetable of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with a piercing familiarity. This "wait" has almost always meant "never." We must come to see with the distinguished jurist of yesterday that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
Before he was the great orator of his time, Martin Luther King Jr. was a athlete and a trash talker. He loved baseball. He ran track and played basketball. And though he was small, he was on his high school football team and had a reputation of talking trash to opponents during competition.