Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t a perfect man. He didn’t have unflagging faith. His faith began as a more abstract intellectual pursuit and became more and more personal as he became more and more aware of the dangers of his insistence on justice. It wasn’t until he realized his children could be harmed as a result of his activities that he cried out to God in despair and fear and a desire to walk away from it all, and then, received the tangible comfort of the Holy Spirit. In doubt and in certainty, he showed us what it can look like to walk through life with God.
Today we will read countless quotations from Dr. King, and they are all worth considering. He gave us all a vocabulary of hope and love and justice. He articulated and communicated truth that continues to inspire and transform us into the people we want to be.
And Dr. King paved the way not only for legislation that protected the civil rights of Black people in America, but also for legislation that protects women and eventually for people with disabilities. He gave us the thought that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. He also participated in bending the moral universe in the direction of justice for all sorts of people who had been overlooked, oppressed, and forgotten.
We honor Martin Luther King Jr’s life and legacy today and pray that we too can be people who walk with God, speak the truth, and participate in bending the universe toward justice.