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The Sermon That Changed Rosa Parks' Life

In his book, Chase the Lion Mark Batterson shares that:

Shortly after being installed as the twentieth pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a sermon in November of 1954 titled "Transformed Nonconformist." "The Christian is called upon not to be like a thermometer conforming to the temperature of his society," said King, "but he must be like a thermostat serving to transform the temperature of his society..
"I have seen many white people who sincerely oppose segregation and [discrimination]," said King. "But they never took a [real] stand against it because of fear of standing alone." Are you willing not just to stand but to stand alone?
On December 1, 1955, a transformed nonconformist boarded the Cleveland Avenue bus just five blocks from the pulpit where King delivered that sermon. When the white section filled up with passengers, the bus driver ordered Rosa Parks to give up her seat in the colored section. Rosa politely refused. She took a moral stand by remaining seated.
"Our mistreatment was not right," Rosa said. "I was just tired of it." It wasn't a physical tiredness; it was a moral tiredness. "The only tired I was, was tired of giving in." Rosa Park's stand against racial segregation started a ripple effect. It led to a court battle, which led to a citywide boycott, which led to the Supreme Court ruling segregation unconstitutional.
Until the pain of staying the same becomes more acute than the pain of change, nothing happens. We simply maintain the status quo. And we convince ourselves that playing it safe is safe. But the greatest risk is taking no risks at all.

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