My doctoral studies have afforded me many new reading opportunities that I might never have otherwise experienced. Last week I read Dr. Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail." I have been impressed with Dr. King's non-violent response and with his determined spirit to bring justice to an unjust society, but I had not availed myself to much of his writing.
I was moved by many of the passages in this letter to a group of clergy who wanted Dr. King to discern and to slow down in regards to his movement. Some of the passages that caught my spirit were:
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
"Justice too long delayed is justice denied."
"An unjust law is no law at all." (St. Augustine)
"Any law that degrades human personality is unjust."
"... all too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained glass windows."
I must confess these and other statements have messed up my status quo. I have believed that given time things will change, that injustice will be made right in time. Perhaps this is due to my dislike for conflict, but I have a "fire in my belly" and in my heart that say it is time to be courageous not cautious.
There are so many injustices, my friends, and we the disciples of Jesus Christ are called to step out of the security of the stained glass environment and to seek change. We are empowered by the Spirit of Jesus Christ to be His hands and feet and voice. What would Jesus do? Jesus would act in love to bring justice to all.
I'm mad as all "get out" by the arrest of the a man in Florida. He has been arrested for feeding the hungry and homeless. I'm brought to tears by the words of a young man who says he is not welcomed in the church because of his dress, his piercings and his body art; he might be a bad influence to the youth. I'm losing sleep because we are drawing lines in the sand as a denomination regarding human sexuality.
It is time to be an extremist and to fight in love for justice for all humanity. It is time to bring the Church to the people of Jesus Christ. I can't shake this feeling that it is time to be an extremist like Dr. King. The question remains the same as he asked those pastors (many from Atlanta) "... but what kind of extremist we will be. Will we be extremist for hate or for love?
I can't help but chose love, because God so loved the world that God gave God's only Son that who ever believed in Him would not perish but would have eternal life.
Seeking a way to bring justice and life,