The first time that I came across Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was through a BBC documentary that I happened to be watching one Sunday night. I was a teenager then, so it must have been about five years after his assassination. I can remember watching footage from the march on Washington and hearing his bellowing voice, which sent shivers down my spine. I had never heard anyone speak like that before and even although I was three thousand miles away in another country, the truths Dr. King expressed deeply moved my soul.
I don’t know what it must have been like to have been here in America during the 1960’s. I presume that it wasn’t an easy time for anyone because of the tension and conflicts that were going on. I guess most people must have thought that the United States was going to perish, and that the dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for everyone was about to be snuffed out.
The assassin’s bullet tried to do that forty years ago in Memphis, Tennessee. What the shooter didn’t realize was that the truth cannot be killed. They tried to do it with Christ, almost two thousand years ago and that didn’t work. The ministry of Dr. King and his pursuit for the Civil Rights of all people didn’t die with him either.
Bible Verse for the Day
Matthew 14:31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
At the time of his death, I suppose many people must have doubted that King’s dream would ever be fulfilled. And yet, here we are today, in a year where there’s a strong possibility that the next President of the United States will be a black person. I think Dr. King’s dream is being fulfilled and I believe that he would be proud of what we have achieved. It may not be perfect and perhaps we still have a long way to go before racism is extinguished, but we’re in a much better place as a society than where we were forty years ago.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Dr. King’s life. Although he died too young, he dedicated his life to those of us who enjoy our freedoms today. He was both a true Christian and American that we should all aspire to become. Bless us, Lord, as we continue to follow his dream which, is in fact, what You call the Kingdom of God. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the Scottish pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send John an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is delighted to read your feedback and messages.