Pastor’s Notes – Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018
Tomorrow (January 15) we celebrate the birthday of one of America’s Greatest Hero’s – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
One of the things I appreciate about Dr. King is that he struggled with his call to be the face/voice of a movement that was determined to change the course of race relations in our country and begin the long road (cause we’re still not there; but we are a bit closer) for America to see the God in all of humanity – especially those of us with brown and black skin. King didn’t eagerly embrace this assignment (call), but recognized that someone had to be the front person and (as I’ve said before) he knew that everyone can’t be behind the scenes; someone had to be out front; even if it meant facing a certain amount of pain, hardship and abuse from some within his own community and especially from those in the dominant culture that didn’t want to acknowledge or accept the humanity of Blacks in a country that was suppose to be founded on the principles of Jesus Christ and equality for all people!
Martin Luther King, Jr. also reminds me of Samuel (the subject of my sermon today) who was called by God to give a dire message to Eli (his mentor) from God because Eli had allowed his sons to completely disrespect God and the sovereignty of God’s Holy Temple. For Samuel, there was no way of getting out of delivering this bad new; the message had to be given and it didn’t matter if the hearer (Eli) liked it or not.
Sometimes, God will put us in situations where we must take a stand for something – a stand against injustice, a stand to end sexual assault and misconduct. Sometimes we need to take a stand to call out friends who are homophobic or who bully a person because of their size, skin color or even where they live.
Martin Luther King, Jr. took a stand. He didn’t sit by silently and wait for someone else to speak up, he spoke up and out and it cost him his life. With the various forms of protest taking place in America these days by women, men and youth who are saying “Black Lives Matter,” “Time’s UP” and #MeToo, people are using their voice to challenge the normative behavior of men who abuse their power and a culture that’s for too long chosen to look the other way. There’s a quote by Dr. King that I think sums all of this up: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter!”
As we celebrate the life and ministry of this GREAT AMERICAN, I want to ask you – what will you stand up for and/or speak out against? Even if the message you deliver or the stance you take is unpopular and costs you something; will you have the boldness of Samuel and Martin Luther King, Jr to speak up and out or will you simply sit back and wait for someone else to do what YOU have the power to do?
Be a Difference and a Blessing to someone this week!
Pastor Carla Mitchell
Rev. Carla Mitchell, Pastor
Rev. Stacy Smith, Presiding Elder
The Rt. Rev. John Franklin White, Presiding Bishop
African Methodist Episcopal Church
401 E. 41st Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55409
St. Peter's Office Hours
Tuesday - Thursday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday - 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM