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Sunday, January 17, 2010

What I'm Reading Today: Revelation 21:10-16

Today was a special worship service in which we remembered and celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s visit to the church (Woodland Hills Community Church) 49 years ago. For my sermon time, I used four sections from the sermon he delivered that day titled "The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life". The first two dimensions King covered that day (the personal and interpersonal dimension) didn't seem that unusual since they dealt with topics related to King that are covered by the media. The third dimension he covered - (the faith dimension) is an area that doesn't typically get as much media coverage. This material - inspired by Revelation 21:16 - was wonderful because it gave me new insights into King's faith perspective on the world. Here is an excerpt from King's sermon at Woodland Hills Community Church on January 15, 1961...

"One more dimension of the complete life remains, namely, the height or that upward reach toward something distinctly greater than humanity. We must rise above earth and give our ultimate allegiance to that eternal Being who is the source and ground of all reality.

When we add height to length and breadth, we have the complete life. Just as there are some people who never get beyond length, so there are others who never get beyond the combination of length and breadth. They brilliantly develop their inner powers, and they have a genuine humanitarian concern. But they stop short. They are so earth-bound that they conclude that humanity is God. They seek to live without a sky.

There are probably several reasons why modern people have neglected this third dimension. Some have honest intellectual doubts. Looking upon the horrors of moral and natural evil, they ask, 'If there is a good God who is all-powerful, why does God permit such unmerited pain and suffering to exist?' Their inability adequately to answer this question leads them into agnosticism. And there are those who also find it difficult to square their scientific and rationalistic findings with the sometimes unscientific dogmas of religion and the primitive conception of God.

I suspect, however, that a majority of people fit into still another category. They are not theoretical atheists; they are practical atheists. They do not deny the existence of God with their lips, but they are continually denying [God’s] existence with their lives. They live as though there is no God."

Til next time...

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