“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
What an appropriate time to remember Martin Luther King. On the eve of what looks to be a bitter and contentious debate here in America, I can’t think of a better time for the example of this passionate, prophetic, even-handed, unifying voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to be heard and heeded.
Dr. King listened to God and made a real faith connection with the social condition of the country. He was God’s man for the hour and he spoke from a platform of truth. He didn’t represent a church or a Christian agenda, he represented the word of God. He called everyone, all colors, all religions, all races, to the high road of justice for all.
“We will not be satisfied,” he cried from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on that hot August day in 1963, “until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” (Amos 5:24)
A great tradition on MLK Day is to listen to the entire “I Have A Dream” speech. It’s 17 minutes long and worth every minute. And while you’re at it, why not watch Peter Paul and Mary sing, “If I Had A Hammer”from the same stage. It will give you a sense of the emotion and historic significance of that day.
“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” (Isaiah 40:4-5)
When we let [freedom] ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”