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adrkingIn the first few moments after I read today’s gospel (MK 2:18-22) several different thoughts have arisen in my mind. Jesus is talking about not pouring new wine into old wineskins because in that case the wine will burst the skins and both skin and wine will be ruined. I was first reminded of a conversation yesterday about the speedy rate of change in the world and the fact that children born now will have little or no experience of a world where a telephone was available only in a building or a small enclosure on the street. (Stop here to insert your own favorite example of something that has become or is fast becoming obsolete…) My favorite statement of the rate of change in the 20th century is “Kitty Hawk to the moon in 66 years.” Last night on Downton Abbey several more examples of change were obvious. The fight over letting go of the village hospital in a merger with a larger facility of greater capacity, the success of a woman as owner and editor of a newspaper and magazine, the wedding of two servants of the manor having a wedding of their own choosing rather than acceding to the plan of “Lady Mary” were obvious examples of difficult moments of some trying to hold on to what no longer served while others saw the necessity of acceding to the future. The signs of changing times were everywhere.

A monumental shift of consciousness in our country in the 20th century was brought to light by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I need not, nor could I in this format, do justice to the development of what led to an explosion in the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Although we still struggle with racism in our country, we can never plead ignorance of the issues because of the courageous actions of so many people who spoke out and spent their lives to overcome this injustice. Today, as we celebrate the memory of Dr. King, may we pray that hatred be overcome with tolerance and tolerance give way to respect for the dignity of all others. Swiftly on the heels of respect may we find acceptance in our hearts and even love for all people who share our common humanity. Wherever we find ourselves on this continuum may we never try to stop the advent of a new day and may God’s blessing be upon us all!