If he sounded like a preacher, it was because he was one. The cadence, the use of Scripture, and the old hymns that were part and parcel of the sermons of Martin Luther King. He preached the Gospel, bringing good news to the poor and called for the oppressed to go free.
The first time I heard King’s name was at the dinner table of my mother’s Southern family on a hot Alabama afternoon in 1956. The bus boycott was a constant topic of conversation. My Aunt Ruby kept saying she just couldn’t fathom why “the colored” weren’t happy. It was a scene out of Kafka.
King’s message encompassed more than what most people consider civil rights. Like the One he followed, King called for radical equality and inclusion of all people in a new American society, one that recognizes, to paraphrase Paul the Apostle, all are equal regardless of race, nationality, gender, immigration status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Prayer for the Day
We look for you, O Lord, and we search for your word,
But you are found where we least expect it;
You come to us through the faces of the poor and marginalized
And in all those quiet moments when we carefully listen.
Enlighten us and bring us closer to your holiness,
And write a new covenant in our hearts
In the name of the One who is your new covenant
Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen
Thoughts for the Day
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of is individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
- Martin Luther King (1929-1968)
I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assembles.
Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them; nor the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the music of your harps
But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.
Amos 5: 21-24