Wednesday, June 6, 2007

FOH: The Perspective of History: Joseph Lowery

Joseph E. Lowery

“You Got Shoes, I Got Shoes”

Luke 15:11-32

Wikipedia biography: Joseph “Lowery was pastor of the Warren Street United Methodist Church, in Mobile, Alabama from 1952 until 1961. After Rosa Parks' arrest in 1955, Lowery helped lead the Montgomery bus boycott. In 1957, with Martin Luther King, Jr. Lowery founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and subsequently led the organization as its president from 1977 to 1997. At the request of Martin Luther King Jr., Lowery led the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965. Lowery served as pastor of Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta from (1986-92). He is now retired but remains active in the civil rights movement.”

Lowery compared the reception the Prodigal Son got to the old story/song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree.”

“Shoes have come to symbolize membership in the household of the father.”

This was true in biblical times and was true during the times of black slavery in America. He spoke extensively historically and personally about the place of shoes in African-American culture.

Shadrach, Meshach & “A Bad Negro”—only a black preacher could say this and get away with it.

God is involved in the struggle for human dignity & freedom

The old KJV of I Cor. 13 used the term “charity” for agape. “Charity” [as it is currently defined] is insufficient.

  • Love embraces justice; charity may or may not (Equality is not the same as equity)
  • Charity is seasonal love is at all times
  • Charity is selective; love is inclusive

Spiritual Identity Theft: “some people are trying to steal God’s identity & do things God would never do.”

He said that if his generation was about “We Shall Overcome,” that the administration of this generation seems to be, “We Shall Overturn.”

II Peter: a “peculiar people” (crazy people)-we are called to be different.

I had never really heart of Joseph Lowery…shows a big hole in my education. But hearing him and hearing OF his history impress me very much. At almost 86, he will not be with us a lot longer. It was a privilege to hear him.

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