Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday we celebrated this week, spoke with some frequency during his years of ministry of putting on the “weapon of love.” Responding to those who resisted the emerging civil rights movement, King asserted, “We will counter your force with soul force, we will match your ability to hate with our ability to love.” And King reminded us that at the heart of Jesus’ life and message is the call to be peacemakers and reconcilers. Violence, said King again and again, “never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problems; it merely creates new and more complicated ones.”
We live in a world thirsty for this gospel of peace. With Martin Luther King, and with Jesus before him, we need to announce with integrity, “The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind. It is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than on love. It destroys community…Violence ends by defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.”
The world today is faced with the same kind of bigotry and hatred that Martin Luther King faced. While we are making great strides in our country to eliminate racism the fact is it is still here. It not only is here but it is seen in so many different countries and is an integral part of their culture.
I want to say I don’t have a cure for the ills of the world but perhaps it would be more accurate if I were to say I know the one who does! Jesus Christ! Jesus tells us the most important part of His teaching is to Love God and Love Neighbor. With that in mind I go back to the Old Testament and the Psalms, Psalm 19 says “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” If we practice what Jesus teaches then there cannot be any room in our hearts for prejudice and hatred.
By the way, if I were to have written the quote from Psalm 19 I would have written “Let the meditations of my heart and the words of my mouth be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” If I am meditating on what God and Jesus Christ would have my words be, then I could be pretty sure that they would be acceptable to them. Meditate and speak. Sounds like a good way to present Christ to the world.