43 years ago today, a man was shot and killed for preaching a message across America that many did not want to hear. He was preaching a message of resisting oppression through non-violent means and sought for equality among all peoples. When he won the Nobel Peace Price 4 years prior, he stated that he refused "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." He believed that, one day, we would truly be living out that passage from Isaiah wherein the wolf will live with the lamb. This man, of course, is the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, April 4, we honor his memory and recognize him as a martyr.
I don't need to tell you how important Martin Luther King, Jr.'s work was to the Civil Rights Movement. You most likely have heard his speech in which he proclaims his dream for the future of America (if not, please click here). Therefore, I am not going to try and give you some nugget of information I think you may be lacking. I'm not going to try and provide some previously unattained epiphany on MLK's life and witness. Instead, I ask you to pray with me.
I ask you to pray that, one day, our nation's present will be the future he dreamed of. Pray that, one day, our world will no longer know violence and oppression. Pray that our world will know a time when justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. Pray with me the prayer that people all across the Church are praying today:
Almighty God, by the hand of Moses your servant you led your people out of slavery, and made them free at last; Grant that your Church, following the example of your prophet Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of your love, and may secure for all your children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.