Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968
Having lived in the city of Memphis for five years, there is so much I learned about the causes for which Martin Luther King, Jr. worked so hard for. As much appreciation as I have for the good that Dr. King accomplished, I appreciate even more the means by which he worked so passionately for civil rights. In a world where so many people live by the Utilitarian Ethic (the ends justifies the means), it would have been easy for Dr. King to call for a violent and hateful resistance to the hateful and violent treatment that minorities, especially African-Americans, were encountering in the US. However, relying on his faith in God and belief that hatred and injustice is not conquored with more of the same, Dr. King took the high road and called for those who wished to stand with him to do the same. His convictions and dream cost him his life but on that particular day in April, the nation’s eyes were fully opened to how wrong hatred really is.
We all know how much good God accomplished through Martin Luther King Jr. for the sake of social-justice and equality. Yet we also know that still to this day, there are people in this world who are unfairly judged and mistreated because of the color of their skin, their country of origin, and their socio-economic level. Let us continue to stand for justice, equality, love, and peace. Let us continue this pursuit so that that the Kingdom of God would continue to break through where darkness still exists. Let us proclaim the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ that calls us to be one new united humanity (Eph 2.14-16). But in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., let the way he lived his life and fought for civil rights remind us all, who call ourselves “disciples of Jesus Christ”, that our weapons in the fight against darkness is neither the sword nor the uncivil tongue but instead the proclamation of God’s kingdom reign and the self-sacrificial love and service that lives because of God’s reign.