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Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

 

Today is the federally-recognized holiday in which we celebrate the life of a revolutionary leader.  A leader who urged peace in a time of turmoil.  A leader who methodically and determinedly strove for equal treatment under the law for all peoples, without regard to race or gender or socio-economic background.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was a leader  who inspired this nation's citizens to take a stand against the civil  injustices so many of our brothers and sisters experienced. So many people, black and white, found their voices during Mr. King's public life.

 

Where do you stand?  Do you use your voice?

 

One of the constitutional law professors where I attended law school upset folks across the nation because of his outspoken views about hot-button constitutional issues.  And yet, despite the fact that so many folks disagreed with him, his classes always had wait-lists of students wanting to study under him.  Without regard to whether their political and ideological views were in sync with this professor's, students respected that he took a position, and therefore, they were also inspired to find their own voices and speak out in support of their own beliefs.

 

Where do you stand?  Do you use your voice?

 

On this date in 1786 -- 220 years ago -- the Virginia Legislature adopted the Ordinance of Religious Freedom, which guaranteed that no person would be forced to attend or support any church.  This mandate later became the model for the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. 

 

We live in a diverse nation made up of diverse peoples, all of whom are a part of God's creation.  English revivalist George Whitefield wrote on this day in 1740, "If I see a man who loves the Lord Jesus in sincerity, I am not very solicitous to what ... communion  he belongs.  The kingdom of God, I think, does not consist in any such thing."

 

And so it goes here on earth, as we attempt to live out God's kingdom in our daily lives.  Do we speak out against injustices?  Do we openly love the Lord Jesus?  Do we seek to live as Christ taught us, to love all peoples and be tolerant of those who differ from us?  Do we express our zeal for Messiah, but be mindful not to foist it upon those whose hearts are not yet fertile to receive the Word?

 

Where do you stand?  Do you use your voice?

 

Grace and peace to you as you journey.

Yours in Christ,  

~~Jennifer

1/16/06

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