Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

I am old enough to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a passsionate and powerful leader during the Civil Rights Movement of the 60's. I remember watching him on television and watching the riots and the marches. I remember the discussion of rights and the suffering of some. I remember one day watching the whole thing on television one night, and hearing my mother say: "I don't know why it's taken this long to happen..."

Later in sophomore philosophy class, for our final exam, we had to read Dr. King's Letter from the Birmingham City jail. It is a call to the religious leaders of Birmingham to stand now for the rights of all Americans. The religious leaders had previously said something like this: "We understand the needs of those who want equal rights. We agree with you. It's just too soon. Just wait a little longer..." Dr. King said something like: "We have waited and the time is now. We are tired of waiting."

When you think about it, it really is hard to believe that in this country African Americans could not vote until 1965. One hundreds years after slaves were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation we finally got around to giving them voting rights.

Dr. King appealed to our own country's creed. We say that we believe that all are created equal, he said. If that's so, then we ask for equal rights under the law, said King.

Slavery has left us with an interesting legacy. The wounds caused by slavery are yet to be fully healed; its effects are still well with us. And, of course, Dr. King was murdered.

Since 1965, we have moved forward a great deal, even to the point of electing the first African American president. But, the feelings and the pain and the hurt of the past still haunts us. We have much to do to make it right among us.

I always try to remember that for me Martin Luther King Jr's holiday is reason to celebrate but for many others this holiday is as important as breathing. For them, this holiday represents a move toward our fulfilling our creed that all are created equal.

May God give us grace that we may move beyond race to true love for each other.

Dave Nichols

No comments:

Post a Comment


Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.

Blog Archive

About Me

A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

The Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee
There was an error in this gadget