Martin Luther King Day is observed today, in the United States. I grew up not really understanding or appreciating who this man really was. In fact being suspicious of his intentions. And little understanding the radical racial divide that was a part of our nation at that time.
Now, years later, I am glad to say that I have a deep respect and admiration for this man. I believe he was one of our most important leaders of the twentieth century. A man who had embraced a vision of the kingdom of God come in Jesus. A vision that was, on the one hand, color blind. But on the other hand loved people of every color. A vision of peace that meant no violence, but more than that. People of all ethnicities and backgrounds, living together, hand in hand, as one. One human race.
Do we still need the vision he had today? This vision will always be needed. A continued need for healing is present, now. Both for African Americans who have been the victims of slavery and prejudice in our nation. And also for us perpetrators and occupants, whose souls have been deadened by our participation in and compliance to this sin.
I have noticed African American bloggers who have challenged the likes of me to really begin to understand the world in which they live. To really begin to see the Story in Scripture in terms of their story, and not merely in terms of my own, Caucasian American experience.
I think a key in doing this is to read, but much more than that, to really begin to relate, or develop relationships with others from different backgrounds. Really taking them into our hearts and lives, not just here and there, away from the safety of our homes. Starting where we're at. In simple ways. Reaching out. Listening. Learning. Letting our lives be impacted by this exchange. And hopefully seeing it grow, more and more. Towards the community our Lord prayed for. That we all might be one in this world, as he is one with the Father, that the world might see, and believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, sent from the Father.
In what ways have we failed to see and live out the vision of the kingdom of God come in Jesus, that would impact the continuing divide of "races" and cultures? How can we help others, and let them help us- to be "at home" and one, with each other?