“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate can not drive out hate, only love can do that” Dr. Martin Luther King.
Dr. Martin Luther King originally spoke these words during a sermon on loving your enemies in 1957. At the beginning of my life in 1963, this sermon, along with several other King writings were published in a book titled, Strength in Love. This book was published to address racial segregation. Additionally, in 1963 Dr. King was arrested during the Birmingham Alabama non-violent demonstration against segregation. The segregation that MLK was referring to at that time was equality for all in restaurants and during hiring practices.
I was born in 1963 when all of this was happening and now here we are in 2020 still fighting for equality. Have we evolved at all? The reality is racism is still alive and equality is not equal for all of humankind in 2020 America. Let’s face it, racism is hatred; plain and simple.
In desiring to learn and grow from this moment in history while not getting caught up in the half-truths and deceptive lies being fed to us through a media fire hose as well as the many misguided self-serving agendas – I turn to what God says regarding hatred and how we should view mankind in this world; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did too.
MLK was a driving force against unjust cultural norms and so was Jesus during the 1st century. Jesus was a counter- culture kind of guy. Jesus spun what was hateful during that time and turned that darkness into light. “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44, ESV). In John 13:35 we read, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” These two very well-known verses are not mainstream in and around what divides us today and they should be. If we call ourselves Christians, then we are disciples. How many of us are loving one another? “One another” includes everyone. Are we genuinely loving our neighbor and praying for our enemies as Christians? I have seen deplorable things posted on social media by friends and acquaintances. Some who call themselves Christians. It is so easy to get caught up in the trappings of hate. It is time to set aside what the culture today is selling and step into the counterculture that we as Christians are called into. Being a Christian is not easy. If we stay plugged in to the word and seek Jesus in all things (even when it is rough); we have a better chance of being light in this world.
We are called to be light. It certainly was not easy being a Christian when Rome ruled. Christians then were the ones persecuted. Nevertheless, they stood counterculture as light, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14). May I suggest that we strive to be light? If we illuminate unconditional love and become true image-bearers / disciples of Jesus Christ then we have hope that is stated in Matthew 4:16, “ the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned. The hope in this verse is stating that darkness has already turned into light. I like standing on that promise of hope, and I think, Dr. Martin Luther King did too back in 1963.
Karen Meier – Local Speaker
Karen is a Christian woman speaker encouraging and empowering other women to live a Christ-centered abundant life. She speaks locally (Sacramento and surrounding areas).