Although commemorations can be wonderful, there is no better way in my mind to celebrate the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. than to look back at the words of Dr. King, himself. This year, on the 40th anniversary of the sanitation worker strike that led to Dr. King’s fatal visit to
“Something is happening in our world. The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; or Memphis, Tennessee – the cry is always the same – ‘We want to be free...We’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point, in
On the choice each of us faces when we find injustice...
“Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness…[Jesus] talked about a certain man, who fell among thieves. You remember that a Levite and a priest passed by on the other side. They didn’t stop to help him. And finally a man of another race came by. He got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy. But with him, administered first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying this was the good man, this was the great man, because he had the capacity to project “I” into the “thou” and to be concerned about his brother.
We use our imagination a great deal to try to determine why the priest and the Levite didn’t stop. At times we say they were busy going to church meetings…and they had to get on down to Jerusalem so they wouldn’t be late for their meeting….But I’m going to tell you what my imagination tells me. It’s possible these men were afraid. You see, the
That’s the question before you tonight. Not, “If I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to all of the hours that I usually spend in my office every day and every week?” The question is not, “If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?”
“If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?” That’s the question.”
The prophetic conclusion...
"Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do Gd’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I my not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”