August 28

Fiftieth Anniversary of March on Washington 1963

Reflection

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an ordinary man with extraordinary moral courage and commitment to the peaceful revolution of nonviolence. He did not begin his ministry considering himself a prophet, and at one point after a particularly threatening phone call, he sat at his kitchen table and pondered how he could withdraw from the position of leadership that had been thrust on him. Then he experienced the power of God’s Spirit and was strengthened to continue. He became the prophetic voice and the soul of a movement that called America to justice and changed its structures of systemic evil.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;” (Isaiah 61)

“I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of your trials and tribulations. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by storms of persecutions and staggered by the winds of police brutality.
You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.”

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord…” (Isaiah 61)

“Now it the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.
Now it the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
Now is the time to make justice a reality to all of God’s children.”

And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.(Isaiah 61)

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 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 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 that one day…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 that …the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

“For as the earth brings forth her bud, and as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.’(Isaiah 61)

“When we let freedom ring…we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual, “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”
                                                               Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. August 28, 1963

Prayer

Come Spirit of wisdom and understanding.

Action

Listen to the words spoken 50 years ago. How have we changed? What still needs healing and understanding? Where do you stand?

(Turn up your speakers and click below).

I Have a Dream Speech 

Suggested Reading

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
Martin Luther King, Jr.


We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

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