Martin Luther King Jr. was an extraordinary person. Not perfect but nevertheless, extraordinary. While we remember his legacy again on this day…let’s not make the mistake of forgetting the God behind this extraordinary man.
It’s way too easy to talk about MLK because so many people and groups of people want to own him as their own. But they often don’t want to take or acknowledge all of him. At the core of his life, Martin Luther King Jr. was a follower of Jesus Christ. His faith in Christ informed all that he sought to do as a civil rights leader.
And that is precisely why his dream did not die upon his assassination. Because it wasn’t his dream. This dream is bigger than one man, one race, one gender, and one generation.
God is behind it all…
And God is still stirring.
And God is still speaking into our dreams.
Dr. King was not a perfect man. Far from it but he was a great man as he pursued to live out his definition of greatness: a servant of others. While many are familiar with his more well known speeches such as “I Have a Dream,” another one that I’m particularly drawn to is his last “speech” – delivered the day before his assassination.
“I just want to do God’s will…as a people, we will get to the promised land…I’m not fearing any man as mine eyes have seen the coming of the Lord.”
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day today, may we acknowledge and celebrate this amazing dreamer but also acknowledge the Giver of such dreams.
..and dare to dream as well.
And every now and then, I love “preaching” one of his sermons. Last year (2011), I read one of my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. sermons at Quest Church entitled, “The Drum Major Instinct.” This sermon was preached at Ebener Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia on February 4, 1968. He was assassinated on April 4.
Below is the video of the sermon and you can also read the entire manuscipt here.
Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice.
Say that I was a drum major for peace.
I was a drum major for righteousness.
And all of the other shallow things will not matter.
I won’t have any money to leave behind.
I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind.
But I just want to leave a committed life behind…
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I’m sharing one of my favorite MLK Jr. quotes:
“When our days become dreary with low hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Question: What’s your favorite MLK quote?