A Dog and His Meat

By Ms. Marilynn Knott (Retired Commissioned Minister)
Chair, Commission on Faith in Action
Member, Crown Heights Christian Church, OKC

This year we are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Christian Reformation. Martin Luther brought to a head the corruption that was choking the church from being the force God intended it to be. It seems we do not heed well the lessons of history. Although the issues differ, the strangling behavior continues as we ignore what is right in front of our eyes and take no action to correct it.

I must say as we considered calling Oklahoma Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) to a season of prayer regarding racism, we were seeing social media posts saying, “thoughts and prayers are not enough.” When this phrase is stated hollowly as a means of withdrawing from action, I agree with those who are offended by it. However, a quote from Martin Luther provides a different perspective:

Ah, if I could only pray the way that dog looks at meat. –Martin Luther

Prayer is an active verb and one should never pray unless he or she is willing to respond to God’s answers. I once had a tiny eight-pound dog who loved everybody and was mild mannered. Yet, one should never come between a dog and meat. I had just fixed my dinner plate and sat down at the table to eat when the telephone rang. As I rose to answer the phone, my dog apparently jumped onto my chair and snatched my pork chop. When I returned to the dining room, he was chomping down on it. I do not know why I did it, but I attempted to take it away from him. It is amazing how feisty and illusive an eight pounder can be.

Anytime we pray we are charting a path to personal action. God is not in the business of waving a magic wand to solve our woes. God will show us the paths we might take to solve issues both as individuals and as communities of faith as we strive, in partnership with God, to fulfill God’s vision of a world ruled by love. As Luther worked with dogged determination to end corruption in the church, we must work to end racism and other forms of bigotry in this world.