I will continually go back to “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” on this weekend. Every time I draw something new from his challenge to folks like me… white moderates. I hear his rebuke to me more clearly each time.
I will continually draw from Dr. King throughout the year. This is a lesson I’ve established in these past few years, especially since moving to Alabama. His works and books on his life’s work are ever in front of me.
If there is a way for you to obtain Fleming Rutledge’s book, Advent, I would highly recommend it. Her compilation of sermons and articles through her years of ministry are so rich. She pulls no punches on the power of Advent and the glory of the once and future coming of Jesus Christ.
Now if we are going to have this kind of massive action program
that is necessary to solve the problem, we’ve got to get rid of one or
two false notions that are disseminated around our nation, false ideas
and myths that are constantly circulated.
I dream the impossible. There is an eternal hope in me that one day a “teaser” could be left and readers would actually go scramble to understand the “rest of the story.” I can’t resist that temptation today. This is a teaser in the desperate hope you will be so angered or frustrated with the following “cliffhanger” you’ll actually go read more.
The week leading up to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday is becoming increasingly important to me. (NOTE: Moving to Alabama has it’s jarring effects on just how deep the issue of racism still runs in our nation. Monday will be “Robert E. Lee Day” in Alabama and Mississippi.)
Today’s cultural environment has a call for “justice.” The danger is that in some segments, that call is also coupled with a “calling out” meant to shame a particular person and drive them from our visual existence. David Brooks has an excellent column HERE to dive into that segment.
Justice has to move past vengeance and anger. It has to move to deeper change.
I was able to pick up a copy of A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. while visiting the National Civil Rights Museum last year. It is a powerful compendium of Dr. King’s work in his words, not the interpretation of someone else.
He lays out his plan for nonviolent resistance and is clear this isn’t about cowardice. He moved this direction because he believed violence only created new social problems without correcting the old ones. His thoughts on nonviolent resistance had five basic principles:
The struggle for freedom on the part of oppressed people in general and of the American Negro in particular has developed slowly and is not going to end suddenly. Privileged groups rarely give up their privileges without strong resistance. But when oppressed people rise up against oppression there is no stopping point short of full freedom. Realism compels us to admit that the struggle will continue until freedom is a reality for all the oppressed peoples of the world. — Martin Luther King, Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches
We remember the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on this day. This April will be the 50th anniversary of his death. He wasn’t yet 40 when he was struck down. Read more