Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King Day, 2009

When I moved to South Carolina in 1971, I remember getting Confederate Flag Day off from school. I had reached my new elementary school only a few years after full integration. As an Air Force brat, recently moved from Idaho, I had not known many (if any) people of any color other than white. During some free time in 1st grade, one of the black kids in my class made me a necklace out of clay, put it on me, and told me that I was now his soul brother. I had no idea what he was talking about but I knew that we were friends.

It was only much later that I became snared in the fear and distrust between our two races. My friends and I used the "n" word in jokes without any thought that it was wrong. I was the only white kid who drove a school bus, and one of the few in the school choir. My good friend Tommy, one of the few black students on the soccer team, had never been to a white person's home until I took him to mine. Much later I served a church as youth minister which had the history that included it's elders, in the mid sixties, standing on the front steps and blocking the attempts of African American Presbyterians to get into the church and worship.

I share these memories not to say that I have any corner on race relations or it's breakthroughs; but to say that I am grateful that I have not lived in a racial vaccuum, like so many of the kids to whom I have ministered. I am greatful to God for any advance in racial equality. And even though I didn't vote for him because of his politics, I am as excited as most of the country that a man of African descent will be serving as president. I really never thought that I would see it in my lifetime. I leave you with one of my favorite Bible verses and the speech that will be repeated hundreds of times all over the nation today.

23But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 3:23-29 KJV

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have a nice way with words. Thanks for sharing.