Assistance Ministry Announcement
With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, and with an abundance of caution, Assistance Ministry will be postponed until further notice. If you are in need of food assistance please contact the Maine Township Food Pantry at 847-297-2510. The food pantry is located at 1700 Ballard Rd Park Ridge, IL 60068.
At its meeting on October 12, the Executive Committee decided that Messiah will continue holding online-only services through the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and the end of the year. The committee will continue to monitor the situation and revise plans accordingly.
We will continue to post our weekly worship services found on the Messiah Lutheran Church Facebook group. To receive worship notifications, you can subscribe to our email list by selecting the About Us tab on the left, then click join our email list. Updated information will be sent when it becomes available.
Epiphany reflections: Our mutual destiny
In a sermon at the National Cathedral delivered just days before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King Jr. declared that Americans are “caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
Or to put it simply, “We’re all in it together.”
These are uplifting and needed words for us at a time when the nation is so deeply divided by race and political ideologies, and in a week when a new president begins his term of office.
Do we really believe King’s statement, or act on it? From day to day it is quite easy to think that what happens to someone else—whether it’s gun violence, or a lack of access to health care, education, or employment, or an obstacle to voting—is something I can ignore because it doesn’t affect me. I’m not wearing that garment.
King thought that this view was terribly misguided. For one thing, our own fortunes can change in a moment: we can suddenly be a victim of gun violence, or it can be someone we love who loses access to crucial health care. It can be our political participation that is suppressed. Problems that seemed distant suddenly become our problems simply because we are part of the human family.
King’s vision goes even further and deeper than that, however. He thinks that respecting other people’s dignity enhances everyone’s dignity. In the case of Blacks’ struggle for civil rights, he thought that the end of racist ideas and practices would be liberating for Whites as well as Blacks. White people’s lives would be richer and healthier as they gave up the soul-destroying practices of racism, acquired a new set of genuine relationships, and lived closer to God’s vision of justice and reconciliation.
Enacting God’s vision may mean giving up some of our privilege and advantage, and it always hurts to do so, especially when our identity is tied that privilege and advantage. But there is a reward of another kind—the reward of entering a more expansive life, a life more in tune with God’s vision of a world in which all people can flourish.
You can hear a powerful sermon given by Kingin 1957 in which the young King (he was only 28 at the time) laid out his vision: “We are made to live together as brothers.”
And here’s a pop song from the 1960s that King called one of the unofficial songs of the civil rights movement, “People Get Ready,” as performed by its composer Curtis Mayfield.
“People get ready, there’s a train a comin’, you don’t need no baggage, you just get on board. All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin’, you don’t need no ticket, you just thank the Lord.”