You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26-28
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the march for voting rights, an important date in my city of Selma, and the nation. On March 7, 1965, 200 African-Americans began a peaceful march seeking the right to vote. As they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, they were met by state troopers with police dogs, tear gas, and billy clubs. National networks interrupted programming to show the violent images of troopers attacking the innocent marchers in what became known as “Bloody Sunday.” Five days later President Lyndon Johnson proposed the Voting Rights Act to Congress.
The Civil Rights Movement brought to the nation’s attention the terrible and dangerous inequities for African-Americans living in the South. Men and women of faith, led by Christ’s freeing Gospel, risked everything to create a better world. I am proud that many members of my church were part of this movement, seeking rights for all guaranteed by our nation’s constitution but denied in practice. I am proud to belong to a faith where my Savior showed no partiality and offered saving grace and mercy to all.
It seems appropriate to celebrate the Civil Rights movement during Lent, because it is at the foot of the cross that we all stand equal—equally sinners, equally saved. In Jesus Christ our Redeemer we find the power to love all people despite the cost.
Prayer: Prince of Peace, give us the power to stand up for mercy and justice. In Your name, Amen.
Response: Read the Martin Luther King Jr. letter from a Birmingham jail.
(Devotions from "Cross of Ashes" by Christine Weerts, a Lenten devotional provided by Lutheran Hour Ministries. Copyright 2005, Int'l LLL. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend.)
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