As I think about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on this day honoring him, I heard "Pride" by U2 on the radio this afternoon. It's probably my favorite song by the group and certainly appropriate for a listen on this day.
Dr. King's influence on our nation is hard to overstate. He taught us that nonviolent resistance to injustice actually works here in our nation. He taught us that love overcomes hate and that change is not impossible when we partner with God.
|Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a crowd from the steps of the |
Lincoln Memorial where he delivered his famous,
“I Have a Dream,” speech during the Aug. 28, 1963,
march on Washington, D.C.
His words from 1963 still ring true today:
By Dr. King's leadership, we have made great strides with the relations between white and black America. But there is still conflict and violence based on race. God calls us to love one another through the words of the Apostle Paul. They are not easy words to live by but they are a wonderful vision that the followers of Jesus Christ continue to hold up as behavior that can be attained. May we all continue to embrace this dream today!Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.I have a dream today!I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.I have a dream today!I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and 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."This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
The quoted speech is my Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 28, 1963.
The picture is public domain from wikimedia commons.