Martin Luther King Jr. Day

(The server has been down all week and I was not able to send out a piece I wrote for MLK Day. But the server is back.

Hello Everyone, Today, Monday, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And I woke up this morning thinking I wanted to honor him and his work.

> I grew up in a black and white neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. Many of my friends were black, all my baby sitters were black ladies, and right behind us lived a black family with a son my age and we were good friends, we played sports together, we boxed each other regularly in the ring my dad built in the back yard, and I knew nothing of racial prejudice.

> But this I encountered in Los Angeles when we moved there when I was 13 years old. We had gang wars then, whites versus the black and brown gangs, even Asian, I remember the Buddha Heads in Hollywood. I was in a number of these battles. And I do recall developing racial prejudice.

> While in the military, well sadly, it was very evident. The black airmen I worked with were resistant to this prejudice and I recall right now that I had some discussions along this line with one of the car pool drivers, an ambulance driver, while we would be sitting on the tarmac at Travis AFB waiting the arrival of an airplane filled with injured soldiers. We spoke at length about this and he did his best to help me understand things from his point of view.

> One thing I had to admit about myself is that I had developed racial prejudice, and I was mostly not aware of it. I think this is so for most of us. Over the years, in discussions with Christian friends who are black and or brown, is that they too developed racial prejudice. It simply goes with the territory and we have to come to admit it before we can begin to shed it.

> Dr. King, a Christian man, braved all this and stood up for what is right. He helped us come to grips with the sinfulness lodged deep within us and also to learn how to counter it. His message incorporated the second great commandment, love one another, even those who are our enemies. Wow, Jesus took it as far as it can go.

> Let us all take a hard look at ourselves and be ready to admit the racial, political, even religious prejudices we have lurking down in our hearts and minds. And then seeing this, come to our Lord in prayer and ask for forgiveness. And then ask for Holy Spirit strength to be loving and caring for our neighbor, and neighbor is anyone in our world. (By the way, religious prejudice will distort our evangelical outreach to these.)

> So let us honor MLK on his day and seek to love one another.

> Kent

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