I had the opportunity this weekend to speak at a retreat for nearly a hundred middle school students and leaders from a dozen different churches. On Sunday, I stood before my youth group in both the morning and evening, teaching, challenging and edifying. It was a great weekend, full of ministry and relationships.
This morning I re-read a post that I had put up last year on MLK Jr. Day. It was a challenge to the church to consider why they didn’t more fully engage the meaning and significance of this day. I felt like I got punched in the gut.
It turns out that despite standing in front of groups of students five different times this weekend with complete control of the itinerary, I failed to mention anything connected to the importance of King and his legacy. Of his faith, of his sacrifice, of his boldness. I thought this morning that more pastors probably preached about Tim Tebow than Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend. And I know of at least one person that was true of. On Friday night, I shared with students about where they find their identity and spoke about this article by Rick Reilly on Tebow that I found to be quite good (My personal thoughts on the Tebow phenomenon would require another post…or several. But this article reeks of Jesus and that’s what I want the fragrance of my life to be.) But not once this weekend did I mention the significance of King. The point isn’t that I shouldn’t have spoken of Tebow. Rather, it’s that I want to be both grounded in the rich history of Christianity as well as connect relevantly. I have a responsibility to my students to remind and connect us to those who have faithfully gone before us.
So today I’m reminded that it’s not enough to just think about what we ought to do. I have to put some actions behind it. We have to put it our beliefs into motion or they’re just empty ideas. I’ve personally decided on a few things that I’m going to do with my day today as a result. What will you do to mark this day?
- Harvard Sitkoff’s book “Pilgrimage to the Mountaintop“, is a readable, fair treatment of Dr. King’s life that is both inspirational and realistic.