2/23/14 Rev. David McArthur
Reawakening the Heart of Christianity
From the African-American church came a new experience. When they came as slaves, Black Americans were “given” Christianity, and were told Jesus died for their sins in great suffering, which made their suffering acceptable. Over the generations, they found the man Jesus. Not The Christ, not GOD, but the Jesus who held them in love just as they were. They found the personal experience of Jesus. From Emilie Cady, Lessons In Truth, “God is the name we give to that …source of all existence. To the individual …He becomes… a personal, loving, all-forgiving Father-Mother.” Out of the experiences of slavery and the personal presence of Jesus came a passion, a consciousness that touches us all. You cannot be bored in an African-American church.
From a culture of constant abuse they chose to love, to live the teachings and create a consciousness so strong that the world could no longer tolerate slavery, or deny civil rights, not because it was taught, but because it was lived. Martin Luther King, jr., said “Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power… that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react… with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.” Rev. King told all the people, “We must meet violence with non-violence… We must love our white brothers no matter what they have done. We must meet hate with love.”
This is really the only message in the Bible! Choose love! I choose love. I choose love. I choose love. Choose love in the office with that one who always gets to you; in the home, with that one in the family you have been working so hard to get along with; on yourself, when you do that thing again!
It overcame separation, segregation, government resistance, tremendous hurt on both sides. It is the choice that won out! Bless you!