For a little city, our vibrant African American community sure knows how to put on a good MLK Day. This year we took our whole family for the march through downtown and the subsequent worship service at Bethlehem Baptist Church.
Here’s five quick takeaways from the days events:
1. Life does not boil down to takeaways or lessons. Shame on me if I try to summarize the black experience in America for some listical or concise blog post. These are real people with real, complex lives–not simple problems to be diagnosed.
2. White people like to talk about/quote/mention Martin Luther King, Jr. Maybe it’s guilt. Maybe it’s good intentions. Whatever it is, here’s a better idea: for one day a year, shut your mouth and go sit quietly and humbly in the back of a black church.
3. There is a giant chasm between the experiences of blacks and whites in the South. Only Jesus knows how on earth to gulf it, but we, brothers and sisters, must try.
4. There are other stories being lived out in your city, in your town, in your neighborhood that you will only hear if you choose to go and listen to them. May God drive me to those people with quiet lips and listening ears.
5. Black churches put white churches to shame–to SHAME–when it comes to singing. Praise God they are going to be before the throne of Jesus with us singing his praises–otherwise Jesus might not hear us!