Encouragement for the Journey 17 January 2016

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

Encouragement for the Journey 17 January 2016

Encouragement for the Journey


Greetings Fellow traveller,

Welcome today, to another combined service, with St Aidans and St Luke’s sharing together, in worship, Holy Communion and fellowship. May our service today offer you moments of insight, encouragement and grace on your journey of life.

Each week I receive an abundance of emails from various parts of our world, especially from the USA. They focus on various topics and subjects. During the third week of January a particular theme emerged, namely the life and influence of Martin Luther King Jr. The US celebrates Martin Luther King Day on the third Monday in January each year, around January 15th, which is his birthday.

Mention Martin Luther King Jr and a myriad of images and sounds will arrive into our awareness. From the ‘I have a Dream speech’, to the protest marches in Montgomery Alabama, or his preaching as a Baptist Pastor.

Fifty years ago this April, Martin Luther King, Jr. sat in a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama and wrote a letter to moderate clergymen in white mainline churches. In it he expressed his disappointment in the church’s inability to be a people formed more by a vision of Jesus than by fear of cultural rejection. He wrote:

So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an arch defender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent–and often even vocal–sanction of things as they are.

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.

~Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail

This is a very prophetic piece of writing…… I am left questioning, maybe it is too late for our current model of church, and that something new is being born. Who knows, I hope so….

Meanwhile in hopeful anticipation and peace