Devotion for Monday, July 13
THE LEGACY OF RICH MULLINS
Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven;
then come, follow me."
After another night of watching the news of demonstrations on behalf of oppressed communities of color, I spent a long time in prayer. Memories of similar events in the 1960's came to mind and I wondered when we would ever learn from our mistakes. This morning when I woke up my first thoughts were of the music of Rich Mullins. (I believe the Holy Spirit nudges me from time to time.) Rich Mullins was a singer and song-writer of Christian music. If the name doesn't mean much to you, the song we most recognize is "Awesome God." His life began in Indiana where his influences were largely Quaker. After many different religious influences, including a time as a Methodist, he ended up as a music teacher on a Navajo reservation in Kansas where the prominent religion was Catholicism. Look him up on Wikipedia and you can read his bio in detail.
Something he said spoke to me.
"Jesus said whatever you do to the least of these my brothers you've done it to me. And this is what I've come to think. That if I want to identify fully with Jesus Christ, who I claim to be my Savior and Lord, the best way that I can do that is to identify with the poor. This I know will go against the teachings of all the popular evangelical preachers. But they're just wrong. They're not bad, they're just wrong. Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in a beautiful little house where you have no gays or minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken-hearted."
Mullins died at the age of 42 in an automobile accident. His legacy is his music. Check it out. There are some powerful messages there.
Heavenly Father, teach us to love as Jesus loved. Amen.