When I moved to southern Louisiana to preach the gospel, my church had a policy to close the church office on Fat Tuesday (the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday), but not on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I immediately changed the holiday policy stating: “I believe that churches should especially honor the MLK holiday. After all, he was a preacher who was martyred for preaching the gospel of Jesus!”
So, for me, today is a day to remember not only the sermons of Martin Luther King, Jr., but to also reexamine my own preaching, or lack thereof.
I have always believed that there is a lot of correlation between what happened in Memphis in 1968 and what happened in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. I truly believe that if you love all people, and live your life trying to convince others to love all people, then there will always be some people, probably religious, who will want to kill you.
Today, I am reminded that if my preaching does not take grave risks by offending and outraging those who do not believe that God’s love expands past the lines of race, class, religion, nationality and sexual orientation, then I am not preaching the gospel of Jesus.