Reverend Dr. William H. Curtis

What’s it like to be divinely inspired? From what source do we draw inspiration and strength if not from God? To whom do we offer gratitude and thanks for what we do have in life if that person–that entity–is not God? What does it feel like to know that true gratitude and an enveloping sense that prayer and faith are all that is needed to move mountains? Is it disconcerting because we are used to resistance and a constant fight—no matter our cause, no matter our audience? Or, is it completely satisfying to know that staying the righteous and faithful path is the right way to go?

We have had a big start to 2017. We’ve seen the peaceful passage of power in this country and said goodbye to our elegant and gracious President of the past eight years. We have watched continued fascination over the opening of the African American History museum in Washington D.C. We have watched marches for women, heard the latest Oscar nominations–one of which features a movie shot here in Pittsburgh and was based on a book written by the city’s own August Wilson. No matter what we view, participate in, or read, as Christians we are rooted in our faith, secure that God has a purpose for us and will make known to us our purpose in the world.

Proverbs 19:21 tells us, “Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails” (NIV).

Having just passed our Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday, many of us are filled with the spirit of unity and peaceful progression. Whether we use that to move anything in our worlds in a positive direction is up to us. As the scripture here tells us, God and our sense of our service to Him should guide us in our endeavors. What feels right as a Christian? What does God ask of us? Sometimes, in these cases, the old adages hold true. “God helps those who help themselves” definitely paints a picture that is certainly relevant in today’s turbulent world. After all, you can sit and complain about your circumstance or you can do something to change it. This is Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy–and it is one brimming with hope. It is the bright core of what unites us when we need it most–and when our churches, communities, the country, and the world also need it most.