I was born just a few years removed from the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the decade marked by the Civil Rights Movement. That’s not to say that the Civil Rights Movement ever really ended, but is not quite what it was when it was in full swing during the years that he and others like him led marches, rallies, sit-ins, peaceful protests, boycotts, and other acts that moved the nation from segregation to integration and greater equality among many in America. It hasn’t been perfect, but there can be no doubt that things aren’t exactly as they were 50 year ago, when Martin Luther King, Jr. and others began to march in Selma, Alabama.
As many today are commemorating and remembering the life and legacy of Dr. King, some will be going out to theatres to see the movie Selma which opened in theatres Friday January 9, 2015 and recounts much of the history surrounding the importance of that time in The United States. At the same time, it can be quite tragic to hear of the ongoing court dispute among the children of Dr. King. What drives me today is not so much the thought of what has happened within the family of the man who led the movement, but how we who have become the benefactors of the legacy do now and continue to take up the mantle of that legacy.
Last week, on the date of Dr. King’s actual birthday, Church leaders from across America gathered at The Potter’s House at a summit called The Reconciled Church to discuss how the Church will now be reconciled as a body of believers in a nation still racially divided, as well as proceed in moving the nation forward in the wake of events like the death of Travon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner as well as two New York police officers. As the Church begins to put a spotlight on how Sunday morning worship time yet remains “the most segregated hour”, then maybe this too will signal to America at large, the need to heal the divide that yet exists in corners America at large has refused to put a light on.
Part of continuing a legacy is taking the mantle to run the next leg. it might have appeared that the baton was dropped around the time that Dr. King died, but if he was a modern day Moses, that means there must come a modern day Joshua to rise up with the courage to say that the work is not yet done, let us go forth over Jordan and into the Promised Land, the land of The Dream.
QUESTION: What are your thoughts as we pause to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?
- Inspirational Lessons Learned From Martin Luther King Jr. (slideshare.net)
- Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday at Viva Zapata This Year (thebluepaper.com)