Dennis Williams recently recommended the movie The Least of These. Gail and I watched it the other night. As in the case of several other movies (The Color Purple, Mississippi Burning, The Long Walk Home, et al), I find myself ashamed and embarrassed by the actions of one race (mine) perpetrated against another. Somehow I want to apologize for all of us who foisted our sense of superiority on Native Americans, Japanese, African Americans and others.
This past week, as I was preparing for this Sunday’s message, I was looking for a movie clip of the liberation of the concentration camps I saw in the series Band of Brothers. We’ll show a brief segment of it Sunday. While I was looking, I discovered there are many original, authentic clips from the archives of Nazi Germany. They are horrendous in what they show. I had two basic responses–turn them off (which I did–I just couldn’t watch) and shame. I found myself apologizing to God for all the inhumanity mankind has been able to heep on other humans.
We may believe we are an enlightened bunch–but we are capable of the most heinous acts. We may believe and even promulgate that we are more civilized than any previous generations, but we can be responsible for atrocity. God created all humans in His image and because of that we have inherent worth. How can we justify the treatment of others that occurs? How can we live with ourselves when people (men and women made in God’s image, loved by God) are so unjustly treated? How long will we live in the darkness and deny that we are there?
The song asks, “Will the worship stop when our voices fade?” I would ask, “Will the compassion stop? Will the search for justice stop? Will the acts of service stop? Will our concern for others stop?”