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Archive for April 5th, 2009

We’ve been gone to Seattle to see children and grandchildren and just returned but I can’t allow today to pass without acknowledging the birthday of one of the greatest citizens of our country, Booker T. Washington. Washington is often ignored during Black History Month and sometimes he is even denounced as a traitor to his race. But, in fact he was a great example of how our country should have moved forward from legalized slavery to true freedom (and if you haven’t yet read Up From Slavery, drop what you’re reading and do it). The secret of Washington’s greatness was that he never sought to be great. He understood the Savior’s exhortation that he who would be the greatest of all must become the servant of all. It was a lesson that the majority of his own people would come to reject. Consequently, one of the greatest Americans of all time is ignored, often denounced, sometimes despised, and regularly slandered. But this would probably not surprise him if he were alive. After all, didn’t the Savior say that this would be the fate of those who follow Him? It is enough for the servant to be treated like his master and Booker T. would have counted it a great honor to have been treated like his Lord.

But regardless of others, let’s remember him with honor. Washington showed us the way forward out of the morass of ungodliness, immorality, ignorance, and wickedness that has engulfed our communities both black and white. That way is nothing other than the way our Savior taught us: deny yourself, take up the cross, and follow Jesus.

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