Monday, January 15th, was Martin Luther King Jr. or MLK Day here in America. A federal holiday, it is also a day for religious services, community outreach to the less fortunate, and taking a hard look back and hopefully forward on race relations in our country.
The holiday is officially celebrated on the third Monday of January each year. However, this year’s celebration was especially unique because it actually fell on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1929 and served as a minister in the Baptist church. He is greater known as a civil rights activist who began making a significant impact on race relations in the mid-1950s and eventually became a prominent leader of the Civil Rights Movement at its height in the 1960s.
It’s only fitting that MLK Day would evolve into a day of service. A day when all Americans are
encouraged to volunteer to help their neighbor and give of themselves to abate suffering on every level.
Being an inspired man himself, Martin Luther King Jr. is an inspiration to all of us. The passionate cadence of both his voice and his feet can still be heard, if we take the time remember. The truth is always relevant and timeless.
No one loved America more than Martin Luther King Jr. You can hear it in every speech he ever gave as well as every sermon he ever preached. It is the purpose for every march he organized. His heart was one of love for his people and his country. His life was postured in such a way to see the country he loved be all it could be for everyone – no matter the color of their skin or what nationality they were.
There is always talk of “The American Dream” and what it actually IS or means. Whatever our definition may be, I want to suggest that Martin Luther King Jr. gave us one great American Dream to live up to and live out. "I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." It just so happened to be his own Dream! If, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," then we can believe that his was a dream not just for America, but for the entire world.
Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed on the balcony of a motel fifty years ago on April 4, 1968. Still, his message and legacy remain. Some things cannot be killed. In honor of his life and memory, I want to share a few of his most famous quotes with you. Articulated not too long ago with an unparalleled grace and boldness, I will certainly add no comment but simply let them fall as they will on your heart and mind here in 2018. Again, the truth is always relevant and timeless…
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
The time is always right to do what is right.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."