And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the kingdom of God.
For behold, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last.
In August of 1963, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. led approximately 250,000 Black and White Americans to the Lincoln Memorial and delivered his unforgettable “I Have a Dream” speech. It became a key moment in the struggle for civil rights. People across the world were inspired and change was ignited within this country. Today we still thrill to the power of his words. As bigotry and bias of all kinds are once again clearly visible within this country, we remember those Americans of all races who courageously marched for equality “from the east and the west and from the north and south” to share the table of the Lord, and we reflect on Dr. King’s words not as something from the past but as a present call to action.
Love one another.
Jesus demonstrated that all people are welcome at the “table of God’s kingdom”. Jesus was a champion of the oppressed and he vehemently opposed exclusionary practices.
Reflect on the exclusion and bias you see in our nation…in your neighborhood…in yourself. How can you better live the dream of Jesus?
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to cast a stone.
The time has come to put an end to age-old prejudices, preconceptions and mutual mistrust that are often at the base of discrimination, racism and xenophobia.
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
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.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
How would your life be different if…You stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? Let today be the day…You look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey.
Love is honesty. Love is a mutual respect for one another.
I have no right, by anything I do or say, to demean a human being in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him; it is what he thinks of himself. To undermine a man’s self-respect is a sin.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong.
William J. H. Boetcker
To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.
Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry is own weight, this is a frightening prospect.
Hatred is corrosive of a person’s wisdom and conscience; the mentality of enmity can poison a nation’s spirit, instigate brutal life and death struggles, destroy a society’s tolerance and humanity, and block a nation’s progress to freedom and democracy.
Tyrants and dictators have incited hatred against ethnic and religious minorities for centuries in order to consolidate power for themselves.