Peace – Prayer – Joy – Love
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Child of Love, Not Slave to Hate

Child of Love, Not Slave to Hate

How are we doing with those chains this week?

Do we remember where there is power?

… as we walk this path from Slave to Child.

As we remember how much we are loved by God.

We continue working with the two foundational ideas from last week:

First is this profound thing that someone once said to me:

“You are at your best when you realize how much you are loved.”

And the Second is this almost proverbial truth that this idea taps into:

“We operate from two motivations: Love or Fear.”

I know that we are six months past his holiday, but I would like to bring in some applicable wisdom from the work & life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“… I am convinced that men hate each other
because they fear each other.
They fear each other because they don’t know each other,
and they don’t know each other
because they don’t communicate with each other,
and they don’t communicate with each other
because they are separated from each other.”
King Chapel at Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa, on Oct. 15, 1962

People fail to get along because they fear each other;
they fear each other because they don’t know each other;
they don’t know each other
because they have not communicated with each other.

 

I sense that Dr. King strikes a foundational cause for being a Slave of Hate

We hate, and do not love, because we fear.

We fear, because we lack empathy

Empathy comes from understanding

Understanding comes through communication

Which comes through presence, being together.

 

This applies to so many situations.

Civil Rights Movement of the ‘60s

Racial tensions of today #BlackLivesMatter

Refugee & Immigration tensions

Even political election year tensions

 

Scripture repeatedly tells us not to fear the other but to live in peace

Luke 10:25-37 Good Samaritan
recognizes the dignity in the other & cares for a stranger’s life.

John 4:1-42 Jesus breaks societal & religious customs
to honor the dignity of the Samaritan woman.

Romans 12: 9-18 Love one another, contribute to the needs of others, live peaceably with all.

Matthew 5: 9 Peacemakers are called the Children of God; they’re the bridge-builders, the reconcilers, redeemers & unifiers.

 

When our faith is shaped and embodied in fear, we remain in Slavery.

Fear affects our relationship with God that is far from relational …

Rather than intimacy, we have duty; rather than grace, judgment.

In the face of Fear, Dr. King encouraged us to live as a Child of Love.

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. MLK

We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools. MLK

                  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. And there is a power there 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 in many ways in the beginning. 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. MLK

Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. MLK

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. MLK

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. MLK

Again, Dr. King strikes a foundational reason for being a Child of Love

Fear leads to Hate, or in the words of another famous person:

“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

Seriously though, Hate is Fear in action.

Just the opposite is true, Mercy is Love in action.

God’s Mercy is the Grace (unearned favor) that makes us Children

God is Love, and we are his Image Bearers, so we too Love.

This too applies and is needed in so many contexts today.

Love is Mercy for our enemies … nobody said Love was Easy!

Love is Mercy for the other … it overcomes lack of understanding.

Love Forgives wrongs done … never forget God’s mercy for you.

… the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others. MLK

Scripture repeatedly calls us to lives embodying Love & Mercy for others

Deut 10:17-19 God loves the orphan, the widow, & the stranger.

Matt 22: 37-39 Love God & Neighbor-Greatest Commandment.

John 4: 7-8 Knowing God is Knowing Love.

John 13: 34-35 Jesus says to love one another as he loves us.

                  James 2:1-8 Honor the poor.

1 John 4:7-12 Let us love one another because love is from God.

Why spend time talking about others if I want you to feel God’s Love as Child?

Love, by definition, is OTHER Oriented. Even in the Trinity – Indwelling Love.

By recognizing & participating in the Belovedness of Others, as God’s Children,

We are more completely drawn into experiencing that Belovedness ourselves!

Experiencing God’s Belovedness as His Child shapes our very Identity.

Remember that we are our best selves when we know how much we’re Loved.

We will be instruments of God’s Love, when we realize we are Loved by God!

 

We can embody more completely being a Child of Love;

an Heir of the Kingdom of our Heavenly Father;

When we proclaim the nearness of the Kingdom. (Luke 10)

When we choose life over death. (Deut. 30:19)

When we recognize that all humanity are Image Bearers. (Gen. 1:26-31)

When we defend the defenseless. (Psalm 82)

When we give a voice to the voiceless. (Proverbs 31)

When we seek justice for the oppressed (Isaiah 1)

When we remain in fellowship w/Christ and do what is right (1 John 2)

 

When we participate in the Father’s Love for Humanity,

we realize the Father’s Love for us – personally, intimately.

When we realize the Father’s Love for us – personally, intimately,

we are empowered to be our best selves

we are empowered to live lives of Love and reject Fear

 

There is no Fear in Love. But perfect Love drives out Fear. (1 John 4:18)

 

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
 Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” MLK

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