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Black History Month

Author: Pastor Mitch
February 14, 2019

A Baptist pastor once wrote:

I know a man—and I just want to talk about him a minute, and maybe you will discover who I’m talking about as I go down the way because he was a great one. And he just went about serving. He was born in an obscure village, the child of a poor peasant woman. And then he grew up in still another obscure village, where he worked as a carpenter until he was thirty years old. Then for three years, he just got on his feet, and he was an itinerant preacher. And he went about doing some things. He didn’t have much. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never owned a house. He never went to college. He never visited a big city. He never went two hundred miles from where he was born. He did none of the usual things that the world would associate with greatness. He had no credentials but himself.

He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against him. They called him a rabble-rouser. They called him a troublemaker. They said he was an agitator. He practiced civil disobedience; he broke injunctions. And so he was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. And the irony of it all is that his friends turned him over to them. One of his closest friends denied him. Another of his friends turned him over to his enemies. And while he was dying, the people who killed him gambled for his clothing, the only possession that he had in the world. When he was dead he was buried in a borrowed tomb, through the pity of a friend.

This beautiful description of Jesus Christ was written by a man who modeled him closely. Like Jesus, this other man was also born in an obscure place, grew up impoverished, but loved to serve. He never held a formal office and he too was an itinerant preacher of sorts. Though both men were hated, misunderstood, and falsely accused, both had a following. Both used the same method to institute change - peace and love. Neither man resorted to violence, both condemned the use of it. But both had their lives cut short in their thirties. Both died for the cause of freedom: Jesus for the freedom from our sins, and Dr. Martin Luther King for freedom from racism. 

Each February, our nation remembers the historical contributions of African-Americans in our country. I am thankful for how the Lord used Dr. King to demonstrate the importance of equality and respect for all people, regardless of race. His sacrifice and example, along with many others, are worthy of our remembrance. 

You must love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:31