The time: a Sunday in 1963
The place: 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama
The act: white supremacy terrorism bombing
The who: four ku klux klan members
The what: at least 15 sticks of planter dynamite
The why: a senseless act of violence of death and destruction when those sticks exploded inside the church
The consequence: four young ladies ages 11 and 14 were killed and 22 others were injured
Don’t forget them!
I can’t believe those four perpetrators were not even prosecuted until much later!
One in 1977 was tried and convicted for the murder of 11-year-old Carol Denise McNair. One perpetrator died in 1994. Then, it was not until 2001 and 2002 that the two others were given life in prison for those four precious lives so senselessly taken. It angers me that they lived free for almost 40 years. But, God says: “Vengeance is mine.” (Romans 12.19) and that is where we should leave our angry with our Lord to vindicate.
The title of that day’s sermon was: A Love that Forgives!* And that is something else we need to do.
All but one of the church’s stained-glass windows were destroyed in the explosion. That sole window fittingly depicted Christ leading a group of young children.*
At the 11 year old‘s funeral, the minister said: “The greatest tribute you can pay to Carole is to be calm, be lovely, be kind, be innocent.”* Let’s do the same to…
Martin Luther King Jr. described Birmingham as “probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States”.* It also had been nicknamed ‘Boomingham’ as there was at least 21 other bombings in the years before this one with fatalities.
In this city, at that time, there were no black police officers or firefighters.
There was no justice for most of these senseless acts. But, again let us be reminded that: Vengeance is mine. I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12.19)
Before Dr. King delivered the eulogy for the other three girls, to a crowd of three thousand+ mourners he said: “This tragic day may cause the white side to come to terms with its conscience. In spite of the darkness of this hour, we must not become bitter … We must not lose faith in our white brothers. Life is hard. At times as hard as crucible steel but, today, you do not walk alone.”*
We too must not become bitter in the face of senseless tragedy. We too must walk alongside our hurting fellow man.Just a few days ago on 9/11 we remembered another tragedy that ended in senseless loss of lives. Don’t forget. Ever!
Here’s a link of a song of remembrance called: “Birmingham Sunday.” The song starts at 1:00 minute mark. At the beginning there is a moment of silence with some facts about that day:
Take a moment of silence for the senseless loss of lives and to remind yourself of a love that forgives. So grateful our Lord sent His son to forgive and may we never forget the grace and mercy He extends.If you have never asked Christ to forgive you; do it now and you will become apart of the church. It is as easy as the mention of His name, have faith He rose again, and know one day we will meet in heaven. Amen and welcome to the family of believers. Enjoy your journey as a Christ follower and keep striving to…
*wikipedia 16th Street Baptist Church bombing
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