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King-dom of God - Chester Cook

The King holiday, honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., has become a virtual reality of the Kingdom of Love envisioned by Jesus.

I had the honor of being invited to offer the benediction at one of the Martin Luther King, Jr., commemorative events in Atlanta. Many of the civil rights leaders were speaking from the podium that day, and the one-hour event lasted well over four hours, which put my benediction very late into the day.

I learned that some people liked church a lot more than others. By the time I said the benediction, most of the crowd had already departed.

I have also had the privilege of having Martin Luther King, III, speak at our chaplains' organization's annual luncheon. Sitting next to him, and discussing the world and culture of today, it was clear to me that the society of 2010 has come a long way -- and still has a long way to go.

Martin King, III, spoke of a world where love ruled and rained supreme. I so wanted the world to hear his words, as he took the scriptural sayings of his father and made them his own. Like Elisha following in the footsteps of Elijah, Martin King, III, was given a double portion of the Spirit to usher in the move of God.

When we all think back to the days of overt racism, and then a few years later, to the era of civil rights struggles, it is outright disgraceful how "whites" behaved. It is even more appalling when I consider that most of those in power professed to be Christians. God forgive us all.

I am happy to see the day honoring Martin King, Jr., evolve into a day of love and service to the "least of these," a quote from Jesus in Matthew 25: "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

I hope this King Day will find a way of continuing to actualize this parable. I pray that the saints will be ambassadors of love and reconciliation. I speak a word of faith with my brothers and sisters of the dream come true. Maranatha.

If you have any comments on this column, please contact me at chaplain@airportchapel.org.