January 16, 2005
As we honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As we honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I share some words about him from my book THE HEALING OF AMERICA. Many of us in our own day are seeking to balance, as he did, our spiritual and political passions.
"On the last Sunday of January 1960, Dr. King resigned from his job as pastor of his Montgomery church. "On that day," wrote his biographer Stephen Oates, "King went from being a preacher with an interest in civil rights to a movement leader with a deep and abiding religious fath." For years, King had struggled with the question of how far the religious person should go, entering into worldly affairs and political dialogue. Ultimately, Dr. King felt he could not be true to his religious calling unless he were to make a stand for political change, for what he saw around him was unjustified and unnecessary human suffering.
Dr. King said: "The gospel at its best deals with the whole man, not only his soul but his body, not only his spiritual well-being, but his material well-being. Any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial."
Bodies die, but ideas remain living as long as there are people to love and embrace them. May all of us embrace Dr. King's commitment to a world where love reigns supreme for all humanity. In him, we have a light to guide our way and words to always inspire us. May we heed his legacy, that his ideas might live forever.
May he rest in peace.
Posted by mwblog at January 16, 2005 9:29 PM