I wonder what Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr would say today about the state of our country. The state of our churches. My seminary journey began at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity in Rochester, New York. Rev. Dr. King was a student at Crozer Divinity School before it merged with Colgate Rochester. The rumor among the students was Dr. King received a "C" in homiletics (preaching) and that he was told by the homiletics professor that he would never be a great preacher. I wonder if that professor is spinning in his grave. When I sat in the seminary library, I would look up at Dr. King's oil portrait and say to him as if he would respond, "How did you do it? How did you make it through so much hatred in the world?"
Rev. Dr. King taught me that a human being cannot believe the negative perceptions people have of you. People are going to think what they are going to think, especially if the person has been taught to hate another human being because of the color of their skin, and to quote Dr. King, and "not the content of their character." I believe people can change and do change. In the meantime we must stand firm in believing who God has called us to be, and surround ourselves with people who are affirming, positive, and supportive.
Maya Angelou once said, "You are the sum total of everything you've ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot--It's all there everything influences each of us. And because of that I try to make sure that all my experiences are positive."
Rev. Dr. King showed us that we have control on how we respond to what people say about us. This week take a few minutes to honor a great man who changed the world.