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.
If you’re turned off by Jesus, you’re probably confusing him with some ultra-conservative characterization of a TV evangelist.
First, Jesus was Jewish — not white Anglo-Saxon.
You may feel Christ emphasizes law; but the genuine Jesus emphasises love.
You may feel Christ and his followers have long lists of “do’s and don’t’s” that are preached as “Gospel.”
But the genuine Jesus has just two laws: love God and love people.
You may feel Christ emphasizes politics; the genuine Jesus emphasizes peace.
If the TV preacher spends more time attacking those who don’t follow his particular brand of theology, then he’s probably not preaching the genuine Jesus, either.
The genuine Jesus loved difference.
He also spoke of unity–not pew politics or doctrinal debates.
For me, its all about getting to know the genuine Jesus.