Last Friday we remembered the death of Jesus. Saturday the date Rev. Dr. M. L. King, Jr. was fatally shot, and yesterday the date Dietrich Bonhoeffer was killed. From my readings, all three were seeking to bring about God’s love and justice for all people.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]… in losing many of our culture’s expectations for our life enables one to be free to find the fulfillment that often eludes us …[/pullquote]
Bonhoeffer, a pastor and theologian, was killed by the Nazi regime for helping Jews and plotting to overthrow Hitler. He and Jesus were killed by a collaboration of the religious establishment and the government. Reverend Dr. King, two days after his so-called I Have a Dream speech (with audio), was described by the FBI as “the most dangerous Negro” in America.

After speaking at a Good Friday service last week, I started thinking about the many challenges of following Jesus and his teachings. Jesus was killed for what he did and taught. Maybe seeking to bring about God’s love and justice has positioned you against the religious establishment, the government, your friends and/or family, your employer? Maybe you’re experiencing this now. I see and talk with many who are – from friends in Bethlehem, to people in North Carolina whose families doesn’t understand their work with those in poverty, and those who are oppressed.

Jesus shared stories of counting the cost of following him. He spoke of losing one’s life to find it. I think this is the key – that in losing many of our culture’s expectations for our  life, this enables one to be free to find the fulfillment that often eludes us, free to follow Jesus. I’ve seen this, I’ve experienced it.

I’m inspired by, and thank, all of you who engaged with the Overflow Homeless Shelter; those who share love and meals with those in need at various locations; those who interact with the oppressed and the powerless (the pushed-down as my friend describes them).  Jesus speaking of those in need said th
at what we do to them, we do to him.

As I continue to share God’s love I am most grateful for your support, your partnership, I can’t do this alone!   It’s not just me, but WE!

by Kel Billings