Texts: Luke 21:25-36; Jeremiah 33:14-16
1963 was the 100 year anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The Civil Rights movement was in full swing. That year King wrote “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” President Kennedy addressed the nation about why he sent the National Guard to help protect two black students at the University of Alabama. There was the March on Washington with its “I have a dream speech,” the bombing of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham killing four black girls. President Kennedy was assassinated. And, in 1963, African American writer James Baldwin wrote an essay, addressed to his 15 year old nephew, trying to explain why so many white folks were responding to all this with such fear.
To his teenage nephew, coming of age in this world, Baldwin writes this:
“Try to imagine how you would feel, if you woke up one morning to find the sun shivering and all the stars aflame. You would be frightened because it is out of the order of nature. Any upheaval in the universe is terrifying because it so profoundly attacks one’s sense of one’s own reality. Well, the black man has functioned in the white man’s world as...