By Rev. Donn
Because Jesus died the way he did, we realize that God knows what suffering and death is like and we are never alone. And because God raised Jesus from the dead, we know that death is not a final ending, but a new beginning. And so because Jesus died the way he did, and God raised Jesus from the dead, the best translation of Easter is this: love wins. In the most heartbreaking of scenarios, love will win. Maybe not in the short-term. Maybe it will take a lifetime. But love will win.
Love won in Alabama at a ceremony to honor one of the most-admired public servants in the U.S Congress: John Lewis, an African –American from Georgia, elected in 1987. He was jailed 40 times working for the civil rights movement and never lost his capacity for forgiveness and hope. He was fond of quoting King’s statement: “Do not give up on your white brothers and sisters.”
At a ceremony to honor Lewis on March 2, 2016 Montgomery Police Chief Kevin Murphy was there. On more than one occasion, he was part of the police force which did nothing to stop mobs from viciously beating groups of Freedom Riders, Lewis often among them.
Murphy came to the platform to express a public apology to U.S. Rep. John Lewis on behalf of the Montgomery police department, an apology he said that had long been on his heart. Then Murphy took off his badge and gave it to Lewis, moving the Congressman to tears. Murphy stated afterwards: “Mr. Lewis is a man of graciousness and great courage. He is my hero.”
When we accept the invitation of Easter to embrace the new life that awaits each of us today and after death, we are also making a commitment to be love and to receive love. We speak the truth of the Gospel, the Good News, words of hope and healing, words that need our voice so they will be heard. We put love in action with deeds of compassion and courage that won’t be done unless we do them. Love wins, but love will not live as fully as it might until we choose to give it life. God Bless, Donn
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