Whatever may wither, whatever may fade, our Lord and his word endure.
A lesser known sermon of Dr. Martin Luther King
Whoever would be great among you must be your servant (Mark 10:43).
Most of you are familiar with Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech, delivered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington during the summer of 1963. Its most unforgettable lines are:
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood….I have a dream my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
You may also have read Dr. King’s powerful “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” written while he was imprisoned for peaceful civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham AL. Here are two quotations:
· Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
· Justice too long delayed is justice denied.
But I wonder if you are familiar with a sermon that Dr. King preached just two months before he was assassinated. He was working with the story in Mark 10 where James and John asked Jesus to elevate them to the first position in his future kingdom. Jesus replied by discussing how great leadership is all about taking the servant place. This truth redefines what he calls “the drum major instinct”:
There is, deep down within all of us, an instinct. It’s a kind of drum major instinct—a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first.
King exposes this instinct and its evils during the central part of the sermon. Toward the end, he does something surprising. He redirects the drum major instinct by paraphrasing Jesus on servant greatness with these provocative words:
Don’t give up this instinct. It’s a good instinct IF you use it right. It’s a good instinct IF you don’t distort it. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be first in love. I want you to be first in moral excellence. I want you to be first in generosity. That is what I want you to do.
Amen. Help us, Lord Jesus.
Stone Hill Annual Meeting: All are welcome to attend the annual meeting held on January 26 at 7 p.m. in Harris Hall. We will hear financial reports for 2019 and vote on the budget for 2020. There will be an opportunity for Q & A. Members will vote on officers and the budget at that time. Childcare provided. Candidate profiles are available at the Welcome Desk and in the Prayer Chapel. Absentee Ballots are also available in the Westerly Prayer Chapel.
Join the Worship Team: Bass Players needed for Sunday morning worship. All experience/ability levels are welcome. Consider using your talents to worship and praise with us! Email Becca Gater at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Men’s Retreat Save the Date: April 24-26
· Men’s Retreat will be held at Keswick Conference Center
· More details to come
Looking for Community?
· Join a Stone Hill Church Small Group
· Small groups are where we develop relationships that provide all of us with the care, prayer and relational support that we need in our journey with Jesus.
· We have groups for men/women, young adults, adults. If you are interested in joining a small group please email Pastor Jin at email@example.com.
Upcoming Weekend to Remember Marriage Retreat: This retreat weekend will help you and your spouse understand God's blueprint for marriage. Retreats in our area will occur in Hershey, PA on February 14– February 16 and Poconos, PA on March 20 –March 22 and March 27– March 29. If you register by January 27 with Promo Code SAVE50, you will save 50% off the registration for the weekend. Please register using the Group Name: BlairNJ for the best available rate. This will also allow Stone Hill Church to earn towards a scholarship registration. Please see https://www.familylife.com/weekend-to-remember/ for more information. You can also contact Nancy Blair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children’s Worship: If you want to be involved, now it's your time! We meet every Sunday from 9:25-9:45 a.m. in the 1st grade room. If you are interested in leading singing or playing an instrument, email email@example.com.
D6 Adult Sunday School Class: Our D6 Adult Sunday School class has started. This class works in conjunction with our Children and Youth program. During the month of January we are studying 1 Timothy. This class meets at 9:30 a.m. and is taught by Ray Carr, our Deacon of Adult Education. You do not need to have attended a prior class to attend additional weeks.