The Rev. Preston Davis, minister to HPU, welcomed community members, students, faculty and staff in attendance.
HIGH POINT, N.C., Jan. 21, 2019 – At High Point University’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day worship service, the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss called on the crowd to “keep repairing the road to Jericho.”
Moss’s sermon drew from the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke chapter 10, in which a traveler is beaten and left suffering on the road to Jericho. A priest and a Levite pass by but don’t help him. Eventually, a Samaritan helps the injured man, who is presumed to be Jewish, despite conflict between Jews and Samaritans during that time.
“After Dr. King was assassinated, they found notes he was working on for the next sermon,” Moss said. “It was a sermon in which he was contemplating a particular question: ‘Can America be saved?’ Today, I want to raise that question another way: ‘Can America be saved? Let us continue to repair the road to Jericho.’”
This annual chapel service celebrates the life and work of King and features noteworthy clergy and scholars from across the country. Moss, senior pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, served as the featured speaker. The HPU Genesis Gospel Choir performed throughout the event, which drew a full crowd of community members, students, faculty and staff to the Charles E. Hayworth Memorial Chapel.
“The Jericho road went from Jerusalem, the holy city, to Jericho, the wealthy city,” said Moss. “It was a dangerous walk and a painful place. The wall around Jericho would keep them from seeing the pain of what was happening outside of their community, but there was pain in between those two cities.”
Moss said it’s crucial to be able to see the pain of others who are different from yourself.
“We must have eyes that are willing to open to see the tragedy around us because we have been given a privilege to be able to assist those who are in greater need … If we are going to prepare the Jericho road, the question is, ‘Do we have the ability to open our eyes to the pain of other people? To witness the tragedy of the things that happen in our world instead of closing our eyes to the pain other people experience?’
“If you come out of the darkness, you will see the marvelous light that shines upon you to be a transformative agent in this world,” Moss said. “Some will say it’s not possible and it’s too much. But I didn’t say do everything, I said do one thing. As long as you do your one thing, you can bring beauty into this world and transform it.”
Throughout the day, students were also leading many service projects in the community during “A Day of Service” to honor Dr. King’s legacy.