Today is the Alternative Day to Remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Readings for Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil Rights Leader and Martyr, 1968
“Then the Lord said, ‘I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings” (Exodus 3: 7)
In many places in the Bible we can read about stories where God’s ears hears tears. God finds a way to come to the rescue of people in trouble. Such was true with Moses going back to Egypt to free his people, the Israelites, from Pharaoh. And such was the case of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicating his life for the equality of dark skinned people in America. I say “dark skinned” people because I personally don’t believe in “race.” I think race is a human construct that God laughs at. God doesn’t believe in race and neither should we.
Dr King was passionate about his call for justice for all people. It is reported that he once said that “If a man can’t find something he is willing to die for, he is not fit to live.” Indeed he did die while raising the awareness of underpaid sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee regardless of their skin complexion. This fairness was something he believed in and was willing to die for.
How about us? What are we willing to die for? So often the “what” is changed to “who.” Many of us will proclaim who we are willing to die for, a spouse, a child, a parent or a friend. But what about an idea, – a concept of freedom, equality and justice for all people? As Episcopalians we proclaim in our Baptismal Covenant that we “Will strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” (BCP 305) I think Dr King lived into what we profess. He did more than just lip service to an old, regularly recited covenant. He was fit to live because he found freedom, liberty and justice for all people as valid reasons to die for.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John