Saturday, January 14, 2023

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Message Today

     Martin Luther King Day was signed into law by Ronald Reagan in 1983.  It will be certainly worth your while to read the Wikipedia article on M.L.K. Day (Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Wikipedia) where you'll learn more about old arguments for and against this particular national holiday.  With the national holiday secured by lawmakers votes and by state governments as well, M.L.K. is rightly honored as a national hero.

    Celebrations of the M.L.K. Day vary from place to place.  In Tacoma, Washington, the city joins in an Out Reach Fair in honor of M.L.K.  Kindness and community are some themes that resonate with King and his influence.

    M.L.K., Jr. was son of a Baptist minister.  That alone gave him early access as a child to Jesus' teaching about, and example of, love of neighbor.  As a young adult, King enrolled in graduate school at Boston University, where he received his doctorate degree.  A decade after King's days at B.U., I enrolled in the same graduate theology program and earned my doctorate, feasting intellectually and spiritually on themes like the worth of the individual, neighborly love and social justice. 

Martin Luther King, Jr.
(photo in public domain) 

    A few years before my stint at B.U., I attended Evangelical Theological Seminary in Naperville, IL.  My student pastorate year as a seminary student was provided by Parish of the Holy Covenant, Chicago.  As a student pastor I participated in demonstrations for racial equality at the school board headquarters in Chicago and at a segregated Methodist church in Jackson, Mississippi.  As a child and teenager in Tacoma, however, I attended schools which accepted students of all races and treated them as equals.  Racial integration seemed normal and natural to me, based on experiences in early life.  

    Enough of my story.  How about your story?  Are you working for neighborly love and justice for all races?  No doubt you are.  On January 16, 2023, and every day each year.   MLK would be proud of you!



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