“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
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Jesus said, “No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”
Jesus knew that old structures where the powerful oppress the marginalized needed to go.
He confronted the oppressive religious leaders and governing leaders of his time.
But he didn’t confront them with force.
Jesus confronted them with nonviolence.
This is the way of God.
Sometimes old systems need a complete overhaul, not just patching up rips and tears on the surface.
When love is your motivation, you must work to change what is bringing oppression and injustice.
Justice in Jesus’ eyes was not retributory but restorative.
He specifically nullified the Old Testament’s “eye for an eye” justice. Please read Matthew 5:38-48 if you need proof.
All forms of violence must be rejected.
We need to uplift the sacredness of life in all forms and have dignified and respectful conversations about it.
The death penalty is clearly not in line with Christianity.
We must also address racism which is often hidden beneath the surface of systems that continue to have a double-standard in dealing with people of color.
We must come together in peace and harmony and build anew.
This was the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. whom we honor today.
He was a prophet walking in the steps of Jesus in confronting injustice with nonviolence.
Today, new wine is being poured.
Let us work together in the compassionate spirit of MLK to forge new wineskins.
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Remember: God loves you!