Next week, I’ll finish my devotional on anxiety. But today, I wanted to take some time to remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King jr.
For Christmas, my sister-in-law got me a copy of his speeches titled, A Call To Conscience. And I’ve been slowly working through them. I’ve read about 4 so far, but in honor of MLK I wanted to share a few things that I’ve learned.
Justice is Love in Public
In his speech, “First MIA Mass Meeting” he writes:
“I want to tell you this evening that it is not enough for us to talk about love, love is one of the pivotal points of the Christian faith. There is another side called justice. And justice is really love in calculation. Justice is love correcting that which revolts against love.”
The injustice of segregation and the evil of the narrative of white being better than black was a cancer on society. Destroying not just African American’s but also whites. Dr. King and the civil rights leaders believed that justice is love in action. Justice is love going public. Justice is about standing up against evil in all its forms and saying, “NO MORE!”
Ending Injustice Requires Action
In his speech, “The Birth of a New Nation” he writes:
If we wait for it to work itself out, it will never be worked out! Freedom only comes through persistent revolt, through persistent agitation, through persistently rising up against the system of evil.
Over the past few years I’ve heard people criticize the Black Lives Matter movement and the NFL players taking the knee as inappropriate and out of place. Politics needs to be kept out of football, or marching in the streets makes you look like a radical.
However, both these movements, whether you agree with them or not, are about taking action, causing disruption, and calling for change. Dr. King was familiar with these methods and took the streets in marches, boycotted industries that refused to give services to Black Americans. As Christians, we say that LOVE is a verb, Justice is action and activity.
This Justice is For All
In another landmark speech called, “Give Us The Ballot” he writes:
We must not become victimized with a philosophy of black supremacy. God is not interested merely in freeing black men and brown men and yellow men, but God is interested in freeing the whole human race.
Oppression also oppresses the oppressor. Dr. King knew that freedom needed to go not just to black Americans but also to white Americans. But only through vulnerability, honesty and speaking Truth to Power are we able to bring about the new world that God is creating!
Don’t Give Up
In one of his last speeches he gave before his assassination titled “Where do we go from here?” he writes:
…I must confess, my friends, that the road ahead will not always be smooth. There will still be rocky places of frustration and meandering points of bewilderment. There will be inevitable setbacks here and there…let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform the dark yesterday’s into bright tomorrows
There is still a long way to go to see Justice roll down the mountain. But we need to keep moving forward. There is a narrative of difference that is subtle and suspect as it continues to play into the way we view ourselves and the way our world frames many issues. Yet, it is against this narrative that Dr. King encourages us to resist, so let’s continue to push back against the dark, pull down the mountains of evil because Jesus has reconciled us to God and one another.
I’d encourage for MLK day, to click on any one of the links provided and listen to some of Dr. King’s speeches to remember that this wasn’t just a fight for black America, but a fight for us all.