His theme that night was "World Changers." The idea that followers of Christ should be "World Changers" was woven throughout the evening.
In my remarks I briefly referenced the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., yet the recent holiday commemorating Dr. King's life actually celebrates an entire generation of intentional world-changers.
Among my favorites is Dr. Ralph David Abernathy. Fellow activist Andrew Young reportedly summed up Rev. Abernathy's role in the civil rights movement with "Ralph was really the pastor to Dr. King. He was a source of strength to us all."
Asked about his source of strength -- how he withstood the immense pressures of both internal and external criticism not to mention threats to his and his family's lives, Pastor Abernathy quickly reflected with the 19th century hymn's refrain, "Resting on the everlasting arms of Jesus."
The source of Dr. Abernathy's strength (Jesus) is both the start and finish line for anyone seriously considering living in opposition to injustice.
The prophet Isaiah spoke of the same source and strength:
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty, God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign...over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness...forever." (Isaiah 9.6-7)
God, help me be a world changer who rests daily in the "everlasting arms of Jesus."