Pastor's Paragraph for January 27, 2019
JANUARY 27, 2019
Last Sunday after worship, I packed a bag and drove down to Maryland to meet with a group of other people who serve with our United Methodist Church’s General Commission on Religion & Race. Our mandates were to write language on our beliefs about multiculturalism and white privilege to present to the global church for consideration at General Conference in 2020 and also to work on reimagining how anti-racism work is facilitated in local communities across our denomination. We had two and a half days, and appropriately, one of them happened to be Martin Luther King Jr. Day. When I woke up Monday morning, the first email my eyes landed on was one from the Alban Institute that held the subtitle: “Don’t look for another Martin Luther King—look within.” Sitting at a conference room table, doing paperwork that I’m not sure anyone will ever read, I wondered—am I living that? Am I looking within myself to find someone who doesn’t just have—but brings to life—the dream of God’s heart for “justice [to] roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream”?
At our worship service honoring MLK that afternoon our team leader led us by saying, “A lot of people love justice, but do we do justice?” So again, I wondered, am I doing that? My heart skipped to the prophet, Micah’s eternally prodding question—And what does the Lord require of you? And to the prophetic answer in Micah 6:8—to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. What does it mean for me to do justice? What might that mean for us, as a community of faith? This question, which has echoed across the centuries, perpetually challenging people to deeper levels of faith and action, seems to tie directly into the statement we’re exploring together, as a faith community today. A lot of Christians think, ‘It doesn’t matter what I do”—or does it? I look forward to dreaming and living this journey with you in this new year.
Grace, peace & joy,
Anna Layman Knox
Lead Associate Pastor