Resisting vs. Retaliation

I need to go for a run.

For those of you who haven’t yet heard (I know that will be few), people in America are running 2.23 miles in honor of a young man named Ahmaud Arbery. On February 23 this year, he was ambushed and blasted with a shotgun in Georgia, U.S.A.

Why? He was jogging in the wrong neighborhood. (I would recommend Russell Moore’s summation of the situation).

Martin Luther King Jr. (like Ghandi in India or Mandela in South Africa) is one of those people who brought the Sermon on the Mount alive to a generation in America. His memory still looms large, especially given actions like these in our world, especially when we all have just been reading about non-retaliation in Jesus’ sermon on the mount.

MLK’s civil rights movement was predicated on the non-violent, non-retaliation taught in Matthew 5:38-48 . But MLK also understood that this was a strong, active love for neighbor and enemy alike; it was not a passive acceptance of evil. We are all called, like Jesus, then MLK, taught, to loving resistance, not hateful retaliation. The meek will inherit the earth. They are strong enough to absorb its insults, and shoulder the weight of injustice thrust upon them. But they are also blessed by their hunger and thirst for justice, for righteousness.

MLK proclaimed in a sermon, “But it is not enough for us to talk about love. There is another side called justice. And justice is love in calculation. Justice is love working against anything that stands against love. Standing beside love is always justice.”

A run is not going to change anything. But it is a start.

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