Even from a distance I can feel
this is a special moment for this
predominately white congregation.

Standing on the shoulders of Rev. Martin
Luther King, Jr. and many others
before and since, Rev. Andrew Finch preaches.

As the sermon grows in enthusiasm you can
hear the quaking of his voice
and know the spirit of Dr. King lives on.

No verbal encouragement of “Amen!
Preach it, brother!” is heard.
It is quiet enough to hear a pin drop!

The Johnsons’ “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
continues to ring in the harmony
of liberty and resound loud as the rolling sea.

May our fears dissipate and
courage be magnified to provide
Bread to those knocking at the midnight hour.

Excerpt from

A Knock at Midnight

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1964

The psalmist is right. Midnight may come, “weeping may tarry for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” With this faith we will be able to move out of the dark and desolate midnight, and to a beautiful daybreak. With this faith we will be able to adjourn the councils of despair and bring new light into the dark chambers of pessimism. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.

With this faith we will be able to transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows and speed up that day when “every valley shall be exalted and every hill and mountain shall be made low; the rough place will be made plain and the crooked places straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all of flesh shall see it together.” And when this happens morning stars will sing together, and the sons of God will shout for joy.

Luke 11:5-6

He also said to them, “Imagine that one of you has a friend and you go to that friend in the middle of the night. Imagine saying, ‘Friend, loan me three loaves of bread because a friend of mine on a journey has arrived and I have nothing to set before him.’

Life Energy

So much has changed in our society in the 54 years since 1968. Yet significant senseless separation remains.

I am grateful to be part of a congregation that welcomes all and see each one as a beloved child of God. Together we will continue to make strides to answer the cries of the scared and the needy, especially in the middle of the coldest month of the year.

The other day I went to Standing Bear Lake and was overcome with the beauty of the windswept ice and the bare tree trunks and branches. Even in the winter there is a life energy flowing under the ice and in the trees that keeps them alive.

We know our blood is flowing when we feel our hearts beating and are aware of the breath with each inhale and exhale. Realizing we are alive in the moment, we extend a hand to another, make a phone call, and connect with God in prayer. In doing so we do our part in bringing about justice for a more loving and peaceful world.

Life is a miracle. Know that you are worthy. Christ lived and gave his life for you and for me, and for all.

Peace be with you,
Rev. Marta Wheeler

To view or download a PDF version of this devotional, click here:  Devotional MW 2022-01-19