3rd Sunday after the Epiphany

Lections:  Jonah 3:1-5, 10; Mark 1:14-20

Questions for Discussion

How big are the parameters of God’s love?  How broad is the circumference of God’s grace?  What is the will of God for those whom God has saved from sin to righteousness, death to life, from slavery to freedom, from oppression to liberation

    In relationship to those who enslaved and oppressed.them?

    In relationship to those who are different from them?


God through the Lordship of Jesus Christ called persons to serve as agents of God.  What is the work of the agents of God

    In relationship to governments they belong?

    In relationship to those who have not heard or received the gospel?

    In relationship to those who do evil?


The following resources can serve  answer the above questions:  The Book of Jonah; the narrative for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration presented by the MAABC Youth; MAABC Confession of Faith; the paper, “What It Means to Be Black and Christian” by Dr. Roscoe D. Cooper, Jr.  

From Community to Chaos to the Beloved Community


Reader 1 Chaos!

Narrator
From 1619 to 1865, African Americans are forcibly removed from their communities across the lands of Africa and brought to the Americas to work the fields of European born landlords. They are treated brutally and considered less than human.

Holy Spirit
Like the cry of Israel under the brutal reign of the Pharaohs of Egypt, God heard their cry, touched the hearts and soul of many who cried out for freedom for the enslaved.

Reader 1 Chaos!

Narrator
The plea of abolitionist for a peaceful resolution fell on deaf ears. Instead, there was an expansion of opportunities for more enslavement and harsher laws and restrictions.

Holy Spirit
"But the LORD your God will deliver them before you, and will throw them into great confusion until they are destroyed.  Deuteronomy 7:23

Reader 1 Chaos!

Narrator
Following a great war, freedom finally came!

Reader 2 Community....

Narrator
With freedom, came opportunity! African Americans were free and full citizens with voting rights.

Reader 2
Church communities were created.  Denominational bodies such as African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., Lott Carey Foreign Mission Baptist Convention came into being and impacted the religious, social, economic, and political life of African Americans.
Communities of learning were organized. Many such as Virginia Union, Virginia State, Hampton University and hundreds more across the south that still focus on minority education. African Americans were elected to state and national offices; 653 state legislators, 2 senators, and 15 congressmen.
Protection for African Americans was guaranteed by the federal government.

Reader 1 Chaos!

Narrator
1877....the end of Reconstruction.
Suppressed voting, disenfranchised, underfunded education, state and federal segregation laws, peonage, public lynchings, murder, terrorism......
All directed at the poor and people of color, black and brown.

Holy Spirit 
Hope always exist during times of great oppression... January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King, Jr. was born.

Reader 2 Community!

Narrator
December 5, 1955, the Montgomery Bus Boycott begins! The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King leads the boycott. 381 days later, the boycott ends with the Supreme Court of the United States ruling that segregation on public buses and transportation was against the law.

Reader 2 Community!

Narrator
The Montgomery Bus Boycott sparked activism and participation in the national Civil Rights Movement and gave Dr. King national attention as a rising leader.

Reader 2 Community!

Narrator
Dr. King organized the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.  The SCLC joined forces with organizations such as the NAACP, the Urban League, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Congress of Racial Equality to work to change the lives of African Americans in this nation.
Others like Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, James Farmer and Fannie Lou Hamer rose up because they wanted to quench their thirst for freedom. 

Reader 2 Community!

Narrator
Dr. King organized communities in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Illinois, New York, Virginia, Tennessee and nationally in Washington, DC.

Reader 2 Community!

 Narrator
Dr. King’s work was instrumental in the passing of The Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and The Civil Rights Act of 1968 which advocated for fair housing.

Reader 1 Chaos!

Narrator
After Dr. King’s death, there were violent and destructive riots in over 100 major cities across the United States to include Washington, D.C., Baltimore Md, and Richmond, Va. These riots happened in mostly African American communities....

Reader 2 Community!
Dr. King’s wife, Coretta continued Dr. King’s legacy of nonviolence social justice with the establishment of the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Reader 3
The Beloved Community....

Narrator 2
The Three Evils that threaten any community are poverty.... unemployment, homelessness, hunger, malnutrition, illiteracy, infant mortality, slums…
racism, unemployment, homelessness, hunger, malnutrition, illiteracy, infant mortality, slums and militarism which is inclusive of war, imperialism, domestic violence, rape, terrorism, human trafficking, media violence, drugs, child abuse, and violent crime…

Holy Spirit
With the aid of The Holy Spirit, Dr. king’s vision of The Beloved Community can become a reality. It is a community in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. There is no poverty, hunger and homelessness. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred.
There will be peace with justice for all....




A Testament of Hope, The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Edited by James M. Washington.HarperCollins.1991. 

Martin Luther King Jr.(n.d) In Wikipedia. Retrieved  January 17, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin Luther King Jr.

The King Philosophy.thekingcenter.org.January 17, 2018