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Monday, January 17, 2011

MLK

It's funny because this last Saturday night at church, I was talking with some 3rd graders about the Israelites, and we were talking about how different they lived from us and one of the girls said, "I know they didn't even have cell phone then". And it's true they didn't. But it just shows how FAR they really are from understanding how different the world used to be (and can still be in other parts of the world now). I wanted to say they didn't have cell phones OR houses made from wood or bricks, or grocery stores or bathrooms or even clean water. It's very hard to communicate the past when we live so radically removed from it.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. day and I personally have always loved MLK. I think the stand he took for racial equality, for nonviolence, for peace, for change, he was so before his time (which is why he got killed) because people weren't ready for it. But I also think it was so reminiscent of Jesus, who was also a radical for peace and justice. However, back to this weekend because that's what got me started on thinking about how the kids I work with really have no clue about where we've come from (even when they've heard stories all their lives from the Bible). So, they've heard stories all their lives about the Bible and most can't tell you who the Israelites are (the people that are the stars of the show for the entire book). How much less is the Civil Rights movement, and Martin Luther King Jr. talked about. You might think it's talked about in school, but at least when I was teaching it seemed if there wasn't a paragraph about him in some practice test, then you probably didn't learn about him, because social studies is a dying art.

This was only 50 years ago. The pain and hurt of those times linger on because a lot of the injustice continued to occur within my lifetime and in many places it still does. And yet many children/teens don't even why there was ever pain to begin with. We can only be agents of change, if we know what's happened. I know we can't teach our kids everything about everything, but knowing where we've come from, helps us know where we're going. So, if you didn't talk or read about MLK this year, do it tomorrow or this month and preserve the memory of a crusader who stood for truth, love and ultimately Christ.

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