Over the course of U.S. History necessary changes have occured. In fact, one of the foundational pillars of this great country is that our founding documents are still open documents. This way the sacred truths of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can always reflect the unique challenges facing American citizens in any era.
These changes, when appropriate, should be pursued through peaceful methods. Today we wish to honor a man who worked his entire life to promote peace, and still affected enormous change in transforming our Nation into a place of greater liberty and truer justice for all.
Martin Luther King Jr.
This extraordinary man is the only person besides George Washington who’s birthday is a national holiday. Every third Monday in January, we celebrate the actions of a nonviolent protester who changed the world.
King, considered one of the best orators in American history, had a story that didn’t start on the steps of the Lincoln memorial. It didn’t start with peaceful marches for the better treatment of Black Americans and the end to racism. No, his story began with a deep belief in the teachings of Christ and with the example of his faithful father.
It was this same faithful father who in 1934 visited Germany as part of the Baptist World Alliance. Upon seeing the nascent rise of Nazism his Alliance published a paper with these words-
“(This alliance) deplores and condemns as a violation of the law of God the Heavenly Father, all racial animosity, and every form of oppression or unfair discrimination toward the Jews, toward coloured people, or toward subject races in any part of the world.”
Like his father, Christ’s teachings were central to Martin Luther King Jr’s message. In fact, exactly two months before his death on February 4, 1968, at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, King was asked about how he wished to be remembered after his death. King stated-
“I’d like somebody to mention … that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to give his life serving others. I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to love somebody … I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. And I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.”
King did all these things and more. He was a man who truly embodied the Christlike principles upon which America was created. He fought for freedom, hope, and faith. Changes are a natural part of the development of any human society, and when we follow Dr. King’s example to involve Christlike charity and peace in our dealings with our fellow man, we are one step closer to creating a world where God reigns supreme.
Sadly, on April 4, 1968, in a moment of hate and violence, Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally assassinated while visiting Memphis Tennessee. He was there to minister to the mistreated and less fortunate. King was a hero and a true Christian till his very last moments, he was always seeking to lift up those that society had pushed away.
In honor of this peaceful hero, we conclude with some of his most quoted words –