Building a Beloved Community
Greetings and wishes for a blessed 2019! With a new year under way we can face our journey with new hope and vision. We have been doing this at worship by focusing on the power of connection: being connected to God, to others and to ourselves more deeply. We each are given the gift of unique journeys filled with an array of experiences, blessings and talents, but it is in connections that our journeys take on greater depth and meaning.
Celebrating the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminds us of the importance of working towards a society promoting healthy connections for all people. He explained, “Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.” The qualitative change needs to happen by a redemptive love that creates possibilities of vitality and reconciliation.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. beautifully articulated this saying, “Love is creative and redemptive. Love builds up and unites; hate tears down and destroys. The aftermath of the ‘fight with fire’ method … is bitterness and chaos, the aftermath of the love method is reconciliation and creation of the beloved community. Physical force can repress, restrain, coerce, destroy, but it cannot create and organize anything permanent; only love can do that. Yes, love—which means understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill, even for one’s enemies—is the solution to the race problem.” (Martin Luther King, Jr., The Role of the Church in Facing the Nation’s Chief Moral Dilemma, 1957)
Our present challenge is upon us in this new year: How will we employ creative and redemptive love to build a beloved community within and outside of our congregation? May we build deeper connections so that our lives make manifest the work of God’s creating, hopeful, redeeming love in the world.