Normally, we would not been in school today because of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. Hurricane Ike threw a wrench into our plans and we have had to make up days, like this one and another at Christmas. It was a blessing we were in school. Dr. David Lacey had our AP American Government class put on an hour long testament to the life of Dr. King. Our students did a marvelous job. The highlight was Jared Jernigan's re-enactment of the "I Have A Dream" speech. It would not be an overstatement to say it was one of the finest deliveries of a message I have ever seen...and I have seen more than a few. To me, Jared became the slain civil rights leader. There were few dry eyes and many old people and younger souls on their feet applauding as the senior concluded with, "Free at last!" Two years ago, I wrote a devotional about this remarkable young man. Today, I run it again to honor Jared in some small way as he honored the legacy of Martin Luther King. (The photo is by Paul Pollard and was our WCS 'picture of the day.')
I saw Jared in the grocery store last weekend. A sophomore in my fifth period Bible classes, Jared is one of my best students and an extremely polite young man. He was with his father and he wanted me to meet him. When I saw the dad, I immediately recognized him as one of the clerks at the United States Post Office I frequent. I have been is his line numerous times over the years, buying stamps and mailing packages. What stands out physically about Jared's father is his height; I would estimate him to be about 6'9" or so. Jared is a good-sized kid but nowhere close to being as tall as his papa. Something hit me as I left the store that day. I know Jared and I know his father but I had never made the connection between the two. It's understandable that I would not assume a link in a metropolis of four million souls.
I have twin brothers in my sophomore Bible classes, although in different periods. Several days ago, the Picture Of The Day on our Westbury Christian School website was the team photo of our varsity boys' soccer squad. On the front row, kneeling, was Marc Dennard. Next to him was his brother, Justin Dennard. Man, they look alike! The only problem is, they aren't the twins. The third Wildcat to Marc's left is his twin brother, Ben....but nobody thinks they look much alike. We jump to conclusions based on insufficient data or just fill in information gaps based on what we surmise to be true. When I taught psychology classes in Tennessee, I would show pages from my Georgia Christian School basketball media guides, obscuring the names, and let my students pick out the brothers and sisters. My former players would have been shocked to learn who their supposed siblings were! I wonder if people try to figure out who I am. Some folks know me, and they also know Jesus, but do they make any connection between us? Do they see any resemblance between myself and the most famous Nazarene? Jesus himself defined the relationship in Matthew 12:50 when he stated that, "whoever does the will of my Father in Heaven is my brother." That seems simple enough. There must be something missing. You see, I've been asked if Dave is my brother and also if Scott is my brother. I don't know if I can recall being asked if Jesus is my brother. It's excusable for me not to realize the kinship between Jared and his dad or incorrectly pick the wrong brother to be Marc's twin. Others should never miss the link between Jesus and myself. After all, we share the same blood.
Applicable quote of the day:"It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons."
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