This weekend, America will attempt to honor the memory of a truly great leader, prophet and martyr to the cause of civil and human rights. A part of me wishes the schools were not closed but rather students of every age spent the day learning about Dr. King and the cause of racial justice and equality. More than just listen, I wish we could all open our minds and hearts and truly speak to one another about the issues that still tear at this nation.
As a priest, I do not interest myself in or preach from any political perspective. (The only political truth I would share with you is that probably 95% of the time, my wife JoAnne and my vote on most issues cancel one another out.) I view race and racial justice (and the lack thereof) strictly from moral principles drawn from Holy Scripture and from our Baptismal Covenant that demands that I “respect the dignity of every human being.” I know that as a nation, we have yet to come close to Dr. King’s vision of judging one another “not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” The events of the past two years have made this so painfully clear.
This weekend – I invite you. I challenge you. Come to either service at St. Paul’s (Saturday 5 p.m.) or St. John’s (Sunday 9:30 a.m.). Hear the voice of this great prophet. It will challenge. It will make you uncomfortable. It will force you, if you are honest, to deal with issues of privilege that are associated with color and culture. Are you prepared to listen, truly listen, to a voice crying in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord?