The other day I was listening to a broadcast (What in the Ham Sandwich on the Hype Radio Network), that asked the interesting question “Why is it that most people only worry about the poor during the holidays?”  Many of us would say that providing food for those in need is something that should take place more than just on the holidays; and in most cases it does.  It’s likely that the promotion and publicizing of such activities are increased during the holidays even though that is not the only time the activities occur.  The same is true of the principles that Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of in his speeches and sermons.  The topics of equality, fair treatment, and love of our fellow man are not things that should only come to mind in the middle of January.  Instead they are things that every community and culture should be taking into consideration on a daily basis.

Does this mean that everything we do and everything we say has to be monitored or cultivated to ensure acceptance by all?  As a black man who is pastor of an all white congregation I don’t think that’s the answer.  Especially when I still see online and hear in public the most damaging of phrases we could use to point out racial and cultural differences:  Them and us.  I believe the answer lies in the heart of what Dr. King was preaching (not just saying but preaching).  The heart of His message: love and treat others the way we would want to be treated.  A message that Jesus Christ first communicated to a culture where religious, political, and cultural division was the norm.  Jesus’ message and that of Dr. King was not about a day of loving and accepting others, but rather a way of loving and accepting others.  It wasn’t about stopping on a specific day to take notice of my treatment of others because of our differences, but rather treating others regularly as if there are no differences.  That’s the real way to honor MLK Day.

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