I've had a fantastic summer and as the saying goes, "time flies when you're having fun". The reason for my enjoyment was that I was able to take a 3 month sabbatcial. Other than in Church ministry I believe academics, lecturers, those involved in research the areas of science and history can also benefit from taking a sabbatical. The time is meant for further study and personal enrichment, to step away from the normal rhythm of working life for a season.
Amongst the areas I focussed on during the three months was to delve deeper into a long standing interest I have had in the American Civil Rights movement and the life of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. It was a privilege to be able to travel to Atlanta and spend time in the place where Dr King grew up and where he too up the pastorate at Ebeneezer Baptist Church. These historic places have developed into an education center and monument to Dr King's life and work. The original church (pictured above) is more of a tourist attraction these days as across the street there is a newer and bigger Ebeneezer Baptist Church. It was still incredibly moving to sit in the pews of the original church and all the time there was one of Dr King's sermons playing on the audio system.
Part of my fascination with Dr King, his life and the movement he led is that this stuff is still so relevant for today. His voice is a powerful call for all humanity. It made an impact to me simply sitting in the pews and listening to it. To understand Dr King we must always recognise his Christian faith rooted everything he did and stood for during the movement.
"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."
These words should be lodged in our mindset regardless of whether we belong to the Christian faith, another faith or are of no faith. Imagine what our communities would look like if we all adopted such a philosophy?
The term ahead is a busy one but has plenty of opportunties for us to pause and focus on the love Dr King dedicated his life to. If you would like to know about his faith that we at LCBC share in then you'd be welcome to contact us or join us on Sundays at 10.30am.