I have a dream that one day people will see churches as the following:
– 5 star hotels where the homeless live as they get a leg up
– luxury condos where the terminally ill are cared for
– queues of visitors round the blocks outside prisons to visit strangers
– chartered jets sending single moms and kids off to sunny resorts for a holiday
I have a dream where real sacrifice from all christians shows how Jesus’ love can be delivered in excessive, beyond-expectations, wow-factor love.
I am a young guy (39) from New Zealand – so I dont remember the good Dr and was not brought up reminded of him by a holiday.
What I do understand is that he was NOT a popular guy at the end of his time here on earth – and one of the reasons is that he had ‘moved on’ or extending his ministry beyond just race relations into poverty and other issues. People thought he should have stayed in his box.
It reminds me that following Jesus and doing his work will not make you popular. This is the sad state of leadership today – we vote for the popular ones. We follow the popular ones.
Jesus asks us to stand firm in our faith. To sacrifice now. And our rewards will be in eternity. Following Jesus is not a popularity contest.
This is the lesson I also get from the life, ministry, leadership and death of MLK.
In the face of persecution, Jesus’ followers have two reasons to rejoice and be glad.
First, they know that God rewards those who suffer for their faith, and that their reward will indeed be great in heaven.
The second reason Jesus’ followers can rejoice in tribulation is that they stand in good company: In the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you, Jesus says.
Jesus’ climax at the end of the Beatitudes says exactly this: Stand faithful and do not get blown about by the ideologies of the world. … If we lose our distinction from the world’s greed, uncaring, self-centeredness, exclusionism, unfaithfulness, and violence, then we have no purpose.
More than 1 billion people live in absolute poverty. This includes 700 million people living in slums, 500 million people on the verge of starvation, 93 million beggars, and 200 million children exploited for labor.
1.2 billion of the world’s poorest populations must survive on $1 a day.
It’s not about us remember. Lord, what can I do?
Let’s take the biggest star we know of – Canis Majoris – and compare it to earth. Remember – this is JUST one star and ONLY the biggest one we know of.
– It is 7 quadrillion times larger than earth – a quadrillion is 1000 million million.
– If we replaced our sun with Canis Majoris the surface of the star would reach Saturns orbit (Saturn being a planet further out from the Sun than earth – past Jupiter)
– Light takes more than 8 hours to travel around the star’s circumference – it only takes 8 minutes for our sun’s light to reach Earth.
Assuming a speed of 3 miles per hour for 8 hours a day – how big is it:
– it would take 2 years 11 months to walk around the earth
– it would take 310 years 7 months on the Sun
– it would take 665,000 years to walk around Canis Majoris
Remember – this is only 1 star.
Here’s a video on how big it (and God is).
Laminin is a base protein that holds us together. From Wikipedia: “the structural scaffolding of basement membranes in almost every animal tissue”.
The Jesus in-joke is what it looks like – click here.