The Question Is Yet Before The House
by Rev. Larron Jackson, DMin.
“We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whosoever loves God must also love his brother” (1 Jn. 4:19-21, NIV).
The racial climate and tension that is yet confronting America is not new. As a black person growing up in America during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and beyond, I have seen this kind of racial tension played out repeatedly over the years. That which fueled the tension between white America and black America was usually grounded in human rights, civil rights and receiving justice under “the laws of the land.” What makes the current climate of racial violence so different and provocative in America?
Maybe technology in the hands of ordinary people.
That which we would normally have to wait to see on the 6 p.m. news before becoming angry is now immediately accessible twenty-four hours a day through the various technology mediums. Maybe we are seeing the “fruits” of battles won in days gone by at local, state and national levels. Maybe “racism” is indeed dying a “slow but steady death”.
As I reflect on the current climate of violence and racism in America, my mind, heart and spirit often cause me to reflect on the leadership style, Christian values and writings of the one whom history calls “The Drum Major Justice for America.” That person is none other than the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As Dr. King picked up the mantle to fight against racism and injustice in America, his weapons for this warfare were rooted and grounded in “love and the Christian faith.” As I think about the current season of racism and injustice in which we find ourselves as a nation I am reminded of the final book that Dr. King wrote. The title of that book is, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community. Although Dr. King will always be remembered for the speech that he gave to the nation on Aug. 28, 1963, in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. That speech will forever be remembered as the, “I Have A Dream” speech. And, although Dr. King addressed a number of issues, ills and injustices in his speech on that August afternoon in 1963, that was only a portion of his hope and dream for America and the world in which we live.
At the center of Dr. King’s theology and his hope for both America and the world was a greater vision. His vision was that all humanity would come to know the joy, peace and love of living in harmony with each other. Dr. King called that place, “The Beloved Community/The World House.” Dr. King said that the greatest threat to “The Beloved Community” or the harmony in “The World House” is racism. Dr. King also said the following regarding the danger of racism to “The Beloved Community and The World House”:
“Among the moral imperatives of our times, we are challenged to work all over the world with the unshakeable determination to wipe out the last vestiges of racism … Racism is no mere American phenomenon. Its vicious grasp knows no geographic boundaries …” (Chaos and Community, 173).
In essence Dr. King said that “racism”, and all of it’s manifestations, is the ultimate evil known to humanity.
Dr. King constantly confronted evil wherever evil raised its diabolical head. His weapons for warfare were love and faith. In spite of all of the trials of life and faith that he encountered as he lived into his faith of seeing “The Beloved Community” on earth, he held fast to his weapons of love and faith. Love and faith fueled the fires of Dr. King’s soul until that fateful April 4, 1968 day in Memphis.
Dr. King’s ultimate dream was that one day by the power and love of God made manifest through Jesus Christ:
Evil and hatred will raise the “white flag” of surrender and love would prevail; and,
Humanity would “one day” arrive at that place in their heart called “The Beloved Community” and there would be unending room and love in “The World House” for all who gathered there.
The Question Is Yet Before The House, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?”
What do we say to the evil that resides in our heart, as well, in the hearts of all humanity?
What do we say to the “systemic ills” that are deeply ingrained in us and others in the world in which we live?
For those of us who profess to be Christians, what do we hear Jesus Christ saying to us regarding Love? Brotherhood and Sisterhood with all humanity?: (Deut. 10:17-19; Jn. 13:34-35; Jn. 15:1-12; Rom. 12:9; 1 Thes. 3:11-13; and 1 Pet. 1:18-23).
“The Question Is Yet Before The House,” which will you choose, “Chaos” or “Community”?
Prayer: Father God, as we seek to walk after Jesus Christ in this broken world, please help us to surrender our hearts, minds and spirits into Your Holy hands so that as You speak into our lives by the power of Your Holy Spirit we will hear You and obey You when You speak. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.