Jesus' Mercy Changes Me, We and the World

Good Trouble

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We lost two of the giants of the faith this last week,  C. T. Vivian and John Lewis. Both fought for civil rights and the freedom of all God’s people. Both Vivian and Lewis were disciples of Martin Luther King Jr. If you want to know what motivated Dr. King, read these words from his letter from a Birmingham jail. It’s an amazing document scrawled in the margins of newspapers and on toilet paper and smuggled out by friends. Here’s what Dr. King wrote from jail in 1960:

“Due to my involvement in the struggle for the freedom of my people, I have known very few quiet days in the last few years. I have bene arrested five times and put in Alabama jails. My home has been bombed twice. A day seldom passes that my family and I are not the recipients of threats of death. I have been the victim of a near fatal stabbing …I must admit that at times I have felt that I no longer bear such a heavy burden and have been tempted to retreat to a more quiet and serene life. But every time such a temptation appeared, something came to strengthen and sustain my determination. I have learned now that the master’s burden is light precisely when we take his (God’s) yoke upon us. So, like the Apostle Paul, I can now humbly yet proudly say, ‘I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.’ The suffering and agonizing moments thru which I have passed over the past few years have also drawn me closer to God.” 

The Christian Century, April 26, 1960


Meanwhile outside mobs were screaming “hang the (N-word).” People say, ”Well Dr. King was flawed.” So was Moses, and so are you and me. If you let God take full control of your life, God will use you, warts and all.  John Lewis was arrested 40 times for as he called it  “getting into good trouble, necessary trouble.”

On the floor of the house of the United States House of Representatives Lewis said, ”When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something. To do something. Our children and their children will ask us, ‘What did you do? What did you say?’ For some, this vote may be hard. But we have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history.”

Prayers: For all who have taken courage and risked their lives for the sake of the Gospel.

See Romans 8 and Matthew 13 for further reflection.

Still in one peace,

Pastor David J. Jensen