On Monday we observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Signed into law in 1983 and finally observed in all 50 states in 2000, it’s a day that not only draws us back in time to the witness of Dr. King but also forward to the dream he dreamed, and that we still dream.
This past Monday my family and I joined about 25 other Central folk to see the movie “Hidden Figures.” Most gathered to talk about it over lunch. It was a great way to observe this special day, and I recommend the movie to you if you haven't already seen it.
One of the things I appreciate about Martin Luther King Jr. Day is that King’s powerful words are brought again to my attention. Some, like his “I have a dream” speech, are quite familiar to us, while others are less so. One quote of his that I read this week resonated as a challenge for our time:
“The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.
It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool.
If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.
If the church does not participate actively in the struggle for peace and for economic and racial justice, it will forfeit the loyalty of millions and cause [people] everywhere to say that it has atrophied its will.
But if the church will free itself from the shackles of a deadening status quo, and, recovering its great historic mission, will speak and act fearlessly and insistently in terms of justice and peace, it will enkindle the imagination of [humankind] and fire the souls of [people], imbuing them with a glowing and ardent love for truth, justice, and peace.
Men [and women] far and near will know the church as a great fellowship of love that provides light and bread for lonely travelers at midnight.”
What do you think? Does this resonate for you? How or how not?
Hope to see you Sunday in our “fellowship of love” at Central.