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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

January 15, 2010

THE GOSPEL CALL

Each time disaster strikes, I’m reminded of Rev. Bill Barndt.  In many ways, that’s not fair to my friend Bill, who was nothing if not wise, kind, and always positive.  Still, if there was strife in Central America or Africa on a Tuesday, you could depend on Bill stepping over from the choir loft to the lectern to tell us how to give or get involved to make things better.  Bill’s call was the Gospel call—to bring light to the darkest places.  The people living amongst rubble, the orphans learning to live without parents, the cities existing without fresh water or electricity—you rely on Bill to rally whatever support he could to get help quickly and efficiently.  I never heard Bill talk much about his convictions, because he never had to.  Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Your actions speak so loudly that I can’t even hear what you say.”  Bill always wanted people from the church to get involved in what he was doing, because he was always doing God’s work.

This weekend, we will celebrate the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  I’ve been spending much of my time lately preparing for a service on Sunday night at DCC.  Part of that preparation has been to pore through much of what Dr. King wrote and said, in hopes of representing the volumes that he wrote as efficiently as possible.  It’s clear that he struggled to understand how Christian churches could stand idly by when injustice ran rampant throughout our country.  Sadly, Dr. King can no longer lead us in battling injustice, he can only inspire.  I hope some time is spent this weekend considering where injustice exists today, and how you can involve yourself in change.  There’s still plenty to involve yourself in—economic injustice, social injustice, and even some systemic injustice.  Although King spoke primarily of the struggle for civil rights among African-Americans, I say that the most profound thing he said was this:  Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  Like Rev. Barndt, Dr. King’s call was the Gospel call.

In our Judeo-Christian history, prophets fill many roles—foretelling things to come, reminding us of the duties required by our faith, and calling us to justice.  Prophets are seldom popular; Dr. King wasn’t easily accepted in his day, which is why he compared himself and his peers to the prophets of the Old Testament.  Many feel that the Christian church in general has lost its prophetic voice, the voice that calls for justice and change.  For better or worse, that role has been accepted by poets, painters, and rock stars.  That will be reflected in our service on Sunday, through recorded rock music and songs performed by our own Andy Sullivan, Casey Olen, Connor Patterson, and Sam Haynes.  I hope you can attend.  Part of that Gospel call is to help the least of us, part of that call is to call loudly, reliably, and persistently for justice where it is lacking.  Micah 6:8 asks us, “What does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God;” I hope this weekend, we will take time to do all three.

Link to information about Martin Luther King day program and service projects:
http://www.dublinschools.net/Downloads/MLK%20Day%20of%20Service%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

Link to donate to Haitian Earthquake relief:
http://www.ucc.org/disaster/major-earthquake-strikes.html

Peace, Scott Schieber

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