How victory can be won
At the church service at Emmanuel AME in Carleston this Sunday, Rev Norvel Goff preached:
“Someone wanted to divide the races black and white and brown. A lot of folk expected us to do something strange and to break out in a riot. Well, they just don’t know us. They just don’t know us because we are people of faith.”By coincidence, I am currently reading a collection of sermons by Martin Luther King, published as Strength To Love. Here's what he said about loving your enemies:
"To our most bitter opponents we say: 'We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We shall meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey unjust laws, because non-co-operation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is co-operation with good. Throw us in jail, and we shall still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our community at the midnight hour and beat us and leave us half dead, and we shall still love you. But be ye assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. One day we shall win freedom, but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.'"That's what you see happening in the video above, as a murderer is told by the relatives of those he killed that they forgive him. The husband of a murdered wife tells her killer:
"I forgive you and my family forgives you but we would like you to take this opportunity to repent. Repent, confess, give your life to the one who matters the most, Christ, so he can change it, and change your ways no matter what happened to you and you'll be okay through that. And better off than how you are right now."Another is honest enough to declare herself a "work in progress" in this. All of them will have years of such "work" but they have begun in the best way.
"Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)There has been a lot of discussion during this about whether this is easy forgiveness, and whether the victory King envisaged will every come to pass by the methods he proposed. As for America, I don't know but I'm hopeful. As for the individuals involved, I'm totally confident:
"This is the victory that overcomes the world - our faith." (1 John 5:4)