The Gospel of Mark is different from the other Gospels. Mark is obsessed with the idea of God “shaking things up.”
Martin Luther King Jr. did not intend to be the Civil Rights icon he became. It was after he went to Montgomery to boycott bus segregation — and subsequently received death threats — that he realized the “dark sin of America.” King said that he prayed to God, confessing that he was weak and faltering. He called on God for help, thus beginning a long campaign of nonviolent protest and massive change in society.
Many times our world, even our theology gets broken, and we need God to step in. The good news is, God wants to be involved. And he wants to be involved through us. And only when God is involved can we shape this world in God’s image.
“A Crack in Everything”
Sermon by The Rev. Joe Gunby
Jan. 14, 2018 • Second Sunday After Epiphany
John 13:34-35 from The Message (MSG) 34-35: “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”
Recently in school we have been learning about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We even took a field trip to the King Center in Atlanta. I noticed that Dr. King is similar to Jesus because he made a lot of speeches and wanted everyone to help each other. He was also really brave because he had to talk in front of a lot of people, and he knew that there were some people who did not want him to be saying what he said, which is that everyone should love each other. He even knew that some people wanted to kill him, but he kept talking to people and saying what he wanted to say.
Like Jesus, Dr. King followed God and listened to God even though others did not believe in what he was saying. Some people wanted white people to stay separate from black people because they thought that white people were better than black people, but Dr. King wanted no more segregation. He knew that Jesus always wanted everyone to love each other, no matter what people looked like. Dr. King also knew that Jesus did not want us to fight each other. Even though people were really mean to him, he still loved them and did not act mean back to them. He taught people nonviolence and passive resistance and to trust in God.
The hymn They’ll Know We Are Christians was written by Peter Scholtes in the 1960s when the Civil Rights Movement was happening. Mr. Scholtes wanted to have a hymn that his choir could sing for interracial events, so he wrote this one. It says that everyone is “one in the Spirit” and that “we pray that all unity may one day be restored”. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jesus wanted unity and love for us. If we can remember that, then everyone can be happy.
Prayer: Dear God, I want to be like Jesus and Dr. King. I want to love people and treat people with respect. I want to be brave enough to do the right thing. Thank you for Jesus and Dr. King and other people who lead us to do good things. Amen.