MLK AND WALKING IN LOVE
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)
It looks like a lot of people are going to be marching and walking in the United States this weekend. I will be one of them. I have decided to walk from south Arvada on Saturday morning and make my way to Civic Center Park in Denver to join the Women’s March on Denver. You may know some women who will be marching in Washington, D.C. this Saturday. Women around the country will be marching in solidarity for human rights. Needless to say, many men will be marching, too.
It seems to me that we have many great examples who have gone before us in American history - those in the Women’s Suffrage movement, the Civil Rights movement, and the Gay Rights movement, to name a few. Since we observed Martin Luther King Day just two days ago, I want to pause for a moment and think about Dr. King and all those who marched during the Civil Rights movement. (Notice that to bring about lasting change you need to move!)
A key component of Dr. King’s teaching and preaching was centered on Jesus’ teachings around non-violence, turning the other cheek, and loving one’s enemies. Indeed, the Gospel lesson chosen in remembrance of Dr. King in the Episcopal Church’s "Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints" is Luke 6:27-36, where Jesus offered some glimpses of what radical love looks like in his “Sermon on the Plain.”
In some translations, the verse quoted above from Ephesians 5:2 reads, “... walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us...”
Dr. King, and countless other Americans over the years, have done exactly that - they have walked in love for what they believe in... for liberty and justice for all.
When we encounter hateful people in the world - people bent on doing evil - it can be very tempting to use hateful speech ourselves, or to even lash out in violence. Jesus offers a more radical way. “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you... But love your enemies, do good... Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:27-28, 35-36)
Dr. King and so many others in American history taught this and did this. They marched in love; they walked in love.
Love is what will win the day, because love always wins.
If you are walking this weekend... walk in love, as Christ loves us.