Listen to the teaching of the Eve of Resurrection April 15, 2017. Click on the link or cut and paste link into browser.
Moses might not get to see Canaan, but his children will see it. He even got to the mountain top enough to see it and that assured him that it was coming. But the beauty of the thing is that there’s always a Joshua to take up his work and take the children on in.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As we take this day to observe the life and accomplishments of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I wanted to share some thoughts with you regarding the contemporary issues we face in today’s cultural climate.
Many believe that the racial issues we face in 21st Century America are insurmountable, but I don’t agree. However, if we would bring answer and solutions to today’s social ills, we must be courageous enough to present another world view on these issues – and thereby change (rename, relabel) the issues and constructs we’ve previously upheld.
Many people realize that the issue of RACE is primarily a social construct, a man-made concept – that is to say that the very idea of what delineates a ”white” person from a “black” person is a product of social context, defined by physical traits and characteristics. It is my assertion (and there are certainly others who share this line of thinking) that in order for real progress to be made in this country on issues of prejudice, “racism”, freedom and equitable treatment of the human beings and citizens of this country, we must widen our perspective and approach to these issues. We are not dealing in simple BLACK and WHITE terms.
Civil Rights leaders and freedom fighters like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. struggled with, spoke out against, and rallied in opposition to the powers that persisted and insisted on widening the chasm between ethnic and economic populations of our country. But as he stated in the quotation I used earlier, Moses might not get to see Promised Land, but his children will see it. As a Moses of his generation for our people – and all people – Dr. King passed the torch on to those who would follow, take up that mantle and fight courageously.
That torch is being picked up by a new generation of African-American and other ethnic leaders, who give homage and genuinely revere that generation of civil rights leaders and activists who bore that burden in the heat of the day, and being propelled by the prophetic wind that blew in the latter half of the 20th Century, made strides for freedom for people of African descent and for all who were disenfranchised. We are thankful and needful of the history and the memory of those brave men and women who, throughout the dark night of overtly systemic social and economic injustice, lit the torch that exposed the wrong and began to make it right.
Yet, if this victorious journey is to continue, we acknowledge that our world, while not yet completely transformed, is vastly different from that of the 1950s and 1960s. We recognize that while honoring history we must shape destiny in a more culturally diverse and ethnically complex America with a much wider worldview. As a matter of fact, the speech I quote today, “Birth of a New Nation,” is inspired by Dr. King’s travels to Ghana, where his own world view was perhaps broadened and his own plight for freedom in America was contextualized by the Ghanian struggle from British rule.
Times have changed! Today, we do not seek the “apologies” from, nor demand the “reparations” of a previous generation of oppressors. We believe that by the power of the Eternal Creator we “can cause waters to break out in our wilderness and streams to run in our deserts ” when our voices are heard. We believe that to “turn the other cheek ” is not simply to allow ourselves to be hit on both sides of our faces, but rather to respond out of the part of ourselves that even centuries of injustice cannot truly harm- the eternal spirt of man created in the image of God.
An ethnically diverse coat of many colors is taking shape from the tattered fabric of the American Dream – one that transcends the black and white color lines of the past. The America of our time is very different from the one in which our forefathers hammered out the language of our guiding document – The Constitution. While I do not suggest that the Constitution is antiquated by any means, I do acknowledge that its messaging, and that of the Declaration of Independence and other documents that establish the identity of the United States of America seem to include all people of this country:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
However, in execution, these rights have not always been allowed for all – at one time, African-American men were deemed 3/5 of a man. We have progressed in some ways from those times, but more work must be done!
The society our Constitution governs has taken a vastly different course than could have ever been envisioned by the authors of that great, profound and enduring document (even if there were prophetic endowments among them!). There is within the framework of that Constitution coupled with the re-shaping of the hearts of American people the solutions to the growing division in our nation. There is a reason for the divide, but there is also an answer to it.
As Dr. King stated:
We must come to the point of seeing that our ultimate aim is to live with all men as brothers and sisters under God and not be their enemies or anything that goes with that type of relationship.
What is the Place of Grace? The Place of Grace is a place where whoever can be healed of whatever. Where the Healing Grace and Miracle Anointing of Jesus Christ of Nazareth is present and accessible to all.
In John chapter 5, verse 2, “Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having (5) porches”, the word Bethesda means The Place of Grace or the Place of Outpouring. This pool called Bethesda was to be a place where the Grace of God; the unmerited favor (receiving that which we know we don’t deserve), and enabling power (receiving the ability to do stuff we normally would not be able to do), was present and available to anyone who would receive it