Monday, November 18, 2013
The Gettysburg Address
Wow, in Elementary School I memorized the preamble to the Constitution and the Gettysburg Address and I can still say them from memory...as long as you don't stand me in front of a class to do it.
This 50 year anniversary of the Kennedy Assisination is looping all kinds of things together in my brief journey through this life.
My father moved us from New York to Alabama in 1961 in the middle of my fifth grade year, just as the South was celebrating the Civil War Centennial. In some ways the south never admitted defeat in that bloody war, continuing to devalue the black man as less than human even when I arrived to a structured segregation that would remain through my high school years.
That war really tested the fabric of the constitution in more ways than we can imagine, and those human beings in America who lived through those years really paid a price for that war in lost sons, and devastated land and commerce.
Lincoln paid with his life, and the parallels between Lincoln and Kennedy have been drawn for all to see.
'dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal'
Jesus died to tear down a wall of hostility, a wall of enmity so He could create one new man, thus creating peace, and he spoke peace to those who were near and peace to those far off.
Last night we met two young students from China who must have been amused at the way we old folks think and talk. They are here to study and return to China to have teaching careers, they look different and speak our language through another tongue. They are the children or grandchildren of those who suffered under Mao Tse Tungs communism which has yet to really be rooted out of the psyche of the Chinese people, and somehow, our beleagured constitution, and Abraham Lincoln, and John Kennedy, and Jesus who went into the grave and is thus far the only one to come out of it...Jesus is still calling us to view humanity through His eyes, and to see the essential oneness of every human being...created equal...what an amazing proposition.