Be Not Silent

20 Jan

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Today is a national holiday that shines a light on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Doing so, it has served, for many, as a means to focus on inequality and the sins of racism.  It helps us to remember that there is still a long way to go before we, truly, live as brother and sister.  We claim to be brothers and sisters in the Lord; however, if we were honest, we would admit that our “family” is extremely dysfunctional.

We often treat others as second — or third — class citizens.  We do our best to keep some people far away from us.  Because of the mistrust, hatred, or fear of others, that has been urban flight in many places in our country.

We know, deep within our hearts, that racism is wrong.  We know that we are called to be brothers and sisters in the Lord.  Yet, something often keeps us from being the people we are called to be.  Personally, I think this is one of the wedges that the devil likes to drive between people of good will.  If the devil can keep us focused on what makes us different, he can keep us from loving one another.

We have a responsibility to one another.  If we live up to it, we will help to further the Kingdom of God that was ushered in by Jesus Christ.  If we do not live up to our responsibility for one another, we will find ourselves in ruin.  I think this was summed up best by a poem that came out of the Second World War based on a speech by Martin Niemoller, a Lutheran pastor during the rise of the Nazis.  The poem is on Holocaust memorials around the world.

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

We know that inequality abounds.  We know that some people are not treated with respect.  We know that there are those who are shunned because of their race or nationality.  We also know that there are times we are the people who engage in that negative behavior.  Let us do the best we can today to live as people of the Kingdom, loving one another, cherishing and respecting one another, and helping one another grow closer to God.

FAITH ACTION:  Do all that you can to treat each person fairly today, no matter their race or creed.