April 25, 2011
Dear Marketplace Friend,
There are some businesses that have staying power (grocery stores, gas stations), and some that are on the way out (Blockbuster). You could put daily newspapers in Category #2.
The Sunday morning paper pile that calls itself the Los Angeles Times – April 24, 2011 – is proof of my premise. The task of a newspaper editor is to sift through the pile of happenings and assign priority, through placement. The supreme position is “front page/above the fold.” Prominence declines, page by page, specialty section by section. When something “didn’t make the paper,” the message is clear: the event or occurrence borders on irrelevance. It happened… but, no one cares.
What should we know, based on the leading periodical in America’s second largest metropolitan area? Here are some highlights, based on page placement and headlines: The Dodgers (divorcing owners face losing team to league control). State Taxes (Jerry Brown – “Moonbeam” – needs more money). “Real Women Strut for Fun” (weekly burlesque for wannabe strippers). “Kashing In” (multi-page coverage of the Kardashian empire: an extended family who are morally bankrupt and financially profitable).
Remember: those are the “highlights.” Less compelling stories were buried in the back pages, alongside the ads bought by businesses who haven’t learned how to market their products/services via the web/social media.
What was missing? News item: hundreds of millions of people from around the world gather to celebrate the greatest event in human history.
Where does that story belong? Alongside Dear Abby? In front of the movie reviews? Bordering the ad for “20% Off Custom Shutters?” If placement denotes power, where should they record the curious case of a man brutally executed as a political irritation, buried in another man’s grave… and, then, miraculously transformed from certified as deceased to confirmed as resurrected?
Five hundred skeptical Jews, circa 30 AD, were prepared to testify that they saw him with their own eyes, post-humously. Hundreds of millions, circa 2011 AD, testified yesterday that they’ve seen him with their spiritual eyes and know him to be everything he claimed to be. If that’s true… it trumps the Dodgers and the Dingbats who commanded the spotlight in Easter morning’s paper.
Shadrach Meschach Lockridge (“S.M.,” to those who knew him) was the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church – a prominent African-American congregation in San Diego – from 1953 to 1993. He knew how to spread the News; he knew what the Headline of History really is. Don’t lose the glow of Easter without being reminded about what the Biggest News was the day after Easter… and, every day since. It’s belongs above the fold, front page, in a font size that screams “stop everything and read this!”
If you have 3:20 in your busy day, click here to hear SM say it, as only an African-American pastor can:
If you can’t listen and watch, read the written version in the bottom of this email.
America will be preoccupied with lots of things in coming days – churning trivia, paralleling the 2012 push for president. Take three minutes and ponder the bigger question: what will you do about responding to the King?
Someday, I want to meet SM Lockridge… in the presence of the One he talked about.
My King was born King. The Bible says He’s a Seven Way King. He’s the King of the Jews – that’s an Ethnic King. He’s the King of Israel – that’s a National King. He’s the King of righteousness. He’s the King of the ages. He’s the King of Heaven. He’s the King of glory. He’s the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords. Now that’s my King.
Well, I wonder if you know Him. Do you know Him? Don’t try to mislead me. Do you know my King? David said the Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork. My King is the only one of whom there are no means of measure that can define His limitless love. No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of the shore of His supplies. No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing.
He’s enduringly strong. He’s entirely sincere. He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful. He’s imperially powerful. He’s impartially merciful. That’s my King. He’s God’s Son. He’s the sinner’s saviour. He’s the centerpiece of civilization. He stands alone in Himself. He’s honest. He’s unique. He’s unparalleled. He’s unprecedented. He’s supreme. He’s pre-eminent. He’s the grandest idea in literature. He’s the highest personality in philosophy. He’s the supreme problem in higher criticism. He’s the fundamental doctrine of historic theology. He’s the carnal necessity of spiritual religion. That’s my King.
He’s the miracle of the age. He’s the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him. He’s the only one able to supply all our needs simultaneously. He supplies strength for the weak. He’s available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He’s the Almighty God who guides and keeps all his people. He heals the sick. He cleanses the lepers. He forgives sinners. He discharged debtors. He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek. That’s my King.
Do you know Him? Well, my King is a King of knowledge. He’s the wellspring of wisdom. He’s the doorway of deliverance. He’s the pathway of peace. He’s the roadway of righteousness. He’s the highway of holiness. He’s the gateway of glory. He’s the master of the mighty. He’s the captain of the conquerors. He’s the head of the heroes. He’s the leader of the legislatures. He’s the overseer of the overcomers. He’s the governor of governors. He’s the prince of princes. He’s the King of kings and He’s the Lord of lords. That’s my King.
His office is manifold. His promise is sure. His light is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His Word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I wish I could describe Him to you . . . but He’s indescribable. That’s my King. He’s incomprehensible, He’s invincible, and He is irresistible.
I’m coming to tell you this, that the heavens of heavens can’t contain Him, let alone some man explain Him. You can’t get Him out of your mind. You can’t get Him off of your hands. You can’t outlive Him and you can’t live without Him. The Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him. Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him. The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree about Him. Herod couldn’t kill Him. Death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him. That’s my King.
He always has been and He always will be. I’m talking about the fact that He had no predecessor and He’ll have no successor. There’s nobody before Him and there’ll be nobody after Him. You can’t impeach Him and He’s not going to resign. That’s my King! That’s my King!
Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Well, all the power belongs to my King. We’re around here talking about black power and white power and green power, but in the end all that matters is God’s power. Thine is the power. Yeah. And the glory.
We try to get prestige and honor and glory for ourselves, but the glory is all His. Yes. Thine is the Kingdom and the power and glory, forever and ever and ever and ever. How long is that? Forever and ever and ever and ever. . . And when you get through with all of the ever’s, then…