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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. remembered

 

There are not many Christians who are able to quote the words of the apostle Paul and state that, “my imprisonment is for Christ; and most of the brothers and sisters, having been made confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, dare to speak the Word with greater boldness and without fear.”

But the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one such person.

King endured imprisonment, oppression and opposition with a persistence only found in deep, God-given conviction. King’s legacy is one that embodies virtue, standing up to injustice, speaking truth to power and never giving up on what is right.

In the 21st century, there are few figures that we can point to who emulate the same strength of values and convictions that King stood for.

This week we celebrate the life and legacy of a man who never gave up on his country, though he had cause at many points to believe it gave up on him.

A man who remembered love in the face of hatred.

A man who led others, no matter the cost.

A man who almost promoted peace, even when violence might have been the easier route.

As we remember what King and all those who participated in the civil rights movement did and sacrificed for our country, it is an opportune moment to consider how we honor their legacy today.

In a world that is full of conflict, enmity and discord, it can be difficult to not become discouraged to the point of apathy.

When the world presents a narrative of unchanging hostility, it is hard to become the person who steps up to make a difference.

But this is perhaps where celebrations of those who inspire us become most important.
King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

How often do we ask ourselves this question? How often do we go beyond simply identifying injustices and actually take meaningful, sacrificial action?

How often do we allow our convictions to become so deep that they motivate us to step into discomfort and stand up for what is right?

King stated that, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Our words often do not say as much about our hearts as our money, time, or relationships.

As we celebrate the life and legacy of a man and a movement that took on challenges with grace, peace and persistence, let us take this as an opportunity for motivating reflection, an action that leads to emulation.

Let us continue to use King’s words as a call to action over rhetoric, a reminder of the importance of standing up for justice and a motivation to persist, to keep the faith and stand up for what we believe in regardless of what it might cost.