Jenny Peek of Pocatello Unitarian Universalist Church, on the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
James Reeb was murdered in Selma, March 11, 1965. He had been a Presbyterian minister, then transferred to Unitarianism. He along with so many answered Martin Luther King Jr’s call to come to Selma. Before the full march could happen, Reeb was attacked and killed.
Some called his murder, ‘most monstrous’. This was untrue. His murder was but one in a long series.
When King offered the eulogy, he asked, “Who killed James Reeb”? And answering his own rhetorical question he said, “Who” is simple. It was a few sick men.
Then King asked, “What killed James Reeb”? And he answered saying, the blame is wide and the responsibility grows.”
Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr’s murder. As we consider our roles as religious leaders today, I’ll share King’s answer, naming the “what”: “…the indifference of every minister of the gospel who has remained silent behind the safe security of stained glass windows.” And, “…the irrelevancy of a church that will stand amid social evil and serve as a taillight rather than a headlight, an echo rather than a voice.”
May the words, deeds and life of this prophetic man echo in our own hearts today, prodding us to ever answer the call, as urgent today as it has ever been.
Blessed be, and Amen
From Pastor Jenny Peek
Pocatello Unitarian Universalist Fellowship:
"In music, harmony would be a pleasing sound of many notes produced by many voices and instruments. In our precious life together, may every voice be heard and may this be a pleasing sound of compassion, peace, and justice for all who would listen."
From His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama:
"I must mention that when someone takes a new religion, they must avoid a negative view toward their original tradition, which often comes up as part of human nature. Even if you find your old tradition not very helpful to you, it doesn’t imply in general that it’s not very helpful. All religions offer help to humanity. Especially when facing difficult situations, all religions offer hope. Therefore, we must respect all religions."
From Ellen G. White, Seventh Day Adventist Church:
A Christian reveals true humility by showing the gentleness of Christ, by being always ready to help others, by speaking kind words and performing unselfish acts, which elevate and ennoble the most sacred message that has come to our world.
From Pope Francis:
“Peace firstly means there are no wars … but it also means that there is friendship between all, that every day a step ahead is made for justice, so that there are no more children who are hungry, that there are no more sick children who do not have the possibility of receiving healthcare. Doing all of this means making peace. Peace involves work, it is not about staying calm and doing nothing. No! True peace means working so that everyone has a solution to the problems, to the needs, that they have in their land, in their homeland, in their family, in their society.”
From William McKee, Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints:
One of the first commandments that the Lord gave His children here on earth was to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and then to love our neighbors. (Exodus 20:6, III Nephi 12:43) It appears that He made it very clear to each of us that the most important thing to Him is LOVE. He invited us also to "Judge not that we be not judged", (Luke 6:37 and III Nephi 14:1). What a wonderful world this would be as we follow those two great commandments, to love and to judge not. As the Savior of the world left this earth He also gave each of us some of the greatest counsel in John 14:27 :
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid". May we each create a life of love without judging so that we may live in "peace."
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