Worship at Gloria Dei Saturdays 5:00pm, Sundays 9:00am and 10:30am

Meet Hate with Love

Hello Gloria Dei,
This is Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. We honor and remember this pioneer of civil rights and his work towards equality for all. Dr. King did his best to lead with love rather than violence.
For this week’s Friday Followings I am simply re-printing for you a devotion from Guideposts. Permission has been granted by Guideposts to reprint this devotion.
It is written by Sue Monk Kidd as she reflects on Dr. King’s message of love.

Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. Matthew 5:39

As I stood inside the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in Atlanta waiting to interview Coretta Scott King, I gazed at an exhibit of the travel bag Dr. King had used on his fatal trip to Memphis. Inside the bag were two books. The one on top was entitled Strength to Love. It reminded me of his audacious belief that loving one’s enemies, not violence, held the power to transform society. Was he right? I wondered. Could simply acting in love in the face of hostility really make a difference?

Later I asked Mrs. King. “Let me tell you a story,” she replied. “One January night in 1956 while Martin was away, I sat home with our baby. Suddenly there was a thunderous blast. A bomb had been tossed onto the front porch. The baby and I were unharmed, but an angry crowd of our friends, wanting revenge, had gathered around the house when Martin got home.

“It was the first test of his theory,” she continued. “Martin hushed the crowd and said, ‘I want you to go home and put down your weapons. We must meet violence with nonviolence. We must meet hate with love.’”

“What happened?” I asked.

“The anger melted and the crowd faded into the night,” she said with a smile. “You see, the power of love is a mighty force.”

As I left I stopped by the exhibit one more time. I wanted to see the title of the other book in Dr. King’s bag. It was Where Do We Go From Here? I thought about the hostility in our world, the conflicts between neighbors, even the angry situations in our own houses. The question on the book followed me all the way home.

Lord, on this Martin Luther King’s Birthday—and every day—give me the strength to love even when I am wronged.

For worship this weekend, we continue in the gospel of John. Please read chapters 2 and 3. Our focus will be on John 2:13-25.

Pastor Tim
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