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Are you a "troublemaker?"

Hello All ~

Earlier this week, millions of people celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 's birthday, a federal holiday since 1983 and a state holiday in all 50 states since 2000. A relatively recent addition to our calendars. A friend of mine, who has pastored several congregations, sent me a poem on the humanness of Dr. King. He described King's shortcomings and follies that go with his courage and forward thinking. As a Christian pastor and academic, King was used to being criticized, and unfortunately threatened, for his views.

Many people know of the I Have a Dream  speech at the March for Jobs and Freedom or the Letter from Birmingham Jail  that criticized Christian moderates in the struggle for racial equality. These speeches are easy to digest and sometimes easy to distort into a message of low effort peace. Earlier this week, I listened to a recording of Beyond Vietnam and I've Seen the Mountaintop, which the latter was delivered one day before King's assassination. 

I am reminded how John the baptizer, Paul the apostle, and others have called for humanity to turn back towards God and to uplift justice in how they live. They were troublemakers for sure, but not everyone who makes others mad is causing trouble for righteous reasons. 

Are the troublemakers among us uplifting the gospel message of mercy, love, and justice? 

Look and listen for the Holy Spirit in the words and actions of troublemakers; accept the testimony of truth and push back on what defies the truth. Asking questions is fine--Jesus answered dozens of questions in the Gospels, which helped bring some closer to God and revealed others' rejection of his message. May we journey with God together.


Pastor Marcus

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