by Bruce Strom
This Monday we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day. We are right to honor a man who demonstrated that greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. Dr. King bore no hate toward anyone. He looked not to his own interest but to the interest of others. How about you?
Church – My wife and I recently visited the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN where Dr. King was assassinated. One of the exhibits highlighted the importance of the church with a banner quote from author Richard Wright, “Our churches are where we dip our tired bodies in cool springs of hope, where we retain our wholeness and humanity despite the blows.”
Is the church still that place? Can people come beaten down from the challenges of life and find cool springs of hope? Or do we beat them further? Are we willing to step out of our sanctuaries and into our streets to bring hope to wounded neighbors? I think we are. We have a new grant program for churches which provides funding to launch gospel justice centers as a way of demonstrating hope in the midst of crushing legal burdens. I believe there are churches willing to be that place of hope this year. If you are one of those churches please contact us.
Business – We do our friends in the business world a tremendous disservice when we perpetuate the lie that business is evil. Work is inherently good. Like all things sin corrupts the good, but business is a powerful way to serve others. Business creates jobs, provides fair wages, productivity and success. With that success the Christian business owner can use her resources to serve others – especially the poor and vulnerable. Don’t you want to be that type of business? Help us launch a center in a low-income neighborhood through our sponsorship program, or start a center in your business. Contact us to learn more.
Attorney – If our business friends are harmed in the lie that business is evil, then lawyers are the kings of evil. But that is a lie. Law is inherently good and necessary for an orderly society. God made laws and heaven will have laws. Like all things sin corrupts the good, but law is a powerful way to serve others. Lawyers have great capacity to serve clients with excellence, provide stability, sound advice and counsel. Along the way lawyers should be successful and there is nothing wrong with success so long as it is not done at the expense of others. But lawyers also have an opportunity to use the skills and resources entrusted to them to serve others – especially the poor and vulnerable. Lawyers know we have a significant access to justice problem in America. Who else can stand in that gap except a lawyer? Anyone can serve in soup kitchens or lead Bible Studies, but you alone have the skills to cut through the clutter of complex laws. Christian attorneys not only have the knowledge to help alleviate legal burdens, but fundamentally believe in a God who wants to carry those burdens. So lawyers what are you doing for others? How about starting with giving a small amount of time each month to serve in a gospel justice center? Please contact us to make a significant difference in the lives of others this year.
Individuals – No one can do justice alone. Dr. King rallied people to a just cause to help us see past the color of one’s skin and to look at the content of one’s character. I am grateful to serve as an advocate for justice, but I’ve never served alone. Serving begins with my family. This weekend my wife and I are being honored with a lifetime Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award by the Human Rights Commission. We are grateful. But we do not serve for accolades. We serve because we follow a God who served us and asked us to do the same for others. It doesn’t matter what the other person looks like, who they love, where they live, or anything else. The whole point of the Good Samaritan story was that there are no limits on God’s love and there should be no limits on ours. So if you yearn to be part of something bigger and want to be involved in justice in a practical way, then please contact us and dare to make a difference this year.
Dr. King was correct. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others? Will you take up Jesus challenge this year and
Go and Do Likewise.