Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, from The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction…The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.” –Strength To Love, 1963

Martin Luther King Jr. made the world a better place. His peaceful activism, love for leading his church and powerful speeches still impact and influence people on a daily basis. The way he stood up for the oppressed and fought for what was right, even though it cost him his life, is important to remember as we think about him around the time of  his birthday.

I have decided to love. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love. And the beautiful thing is that we are moving against wrong when we do it, because John was right, God is love. He who hates does not know God, but he who has love has the key that unlocks the door to the meaning of ultimate reality.” –Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967

King chose to love, even when he was thrown in jail, mocked, harassed, and eventually murdered.  Sound familiar? This is what Jesus did for us.

In Galatians 5:13-14, Paul says:

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

The Lord has granted us freedom through Jesus Christ, and just like King, we are called to love both today, in remembrance of him, and every day in honor of the Lord and the love he showed us by dying on the cross to set us free.

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