Hard words on MLK day from Lamennais

Ever accidentally stumbled across a bombshell of truth? In preparing for Sunday’s text on Mark 1:14-20 I came across this little gem from Hugues-Félicité Robert de Lamennais’ Affaires de Rome.

“We will not stand motionless like veiled statues on the shore of the torrent which threatens the foundations of the temple, detaching the stones one by one, and hurling them confusedly among the ruins of things doomed to pass away—the hut of the peasant, the palace of the noble, and the throne of the king!”

“Let all who have the things of eternity at heart arise with us! Let all who love God and man with all their heart and soul, and count all else as naught, join their voices and their hearts to ours.”

“Why disturb ourselves if many refuse to unite in action with us? Shall we consume the energy of our hearts in idle tears for this? Faith demands action, not tears; it demands of us the power of sacrifice—sole origin of our salvation; it seeks Christians capable of looking down upon the world from on high, and facing its fatigues without fear; Christians capable of saying, We will die for this; above all, Christians capable of saying, We will live for this.”

As I pause to consider today the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr., I think that these are words he could have resonated with. They certainly seem like home to me.

In some endeavors, few will go forward with us, shoulder to shoulder. We can waste a lot of tears and pull out a lot of hairs as ministers, leaders, deacons, or coordinators worrying about the ones who don’t join the cause. Instead, let us rally with those who will stand with us. Let us find the fellow disciples who are willing to live for the causes that matter. Let us join hands with the people seeking to make the world better. There are those who refuse to “stand motionless” in the face of our world’s “torrent.” We are not alone. Cry not for the apathetic. Cry “CHARGE” with the people of action.