One of my favorite Christian role models is Dr. King. He certainly was not perfect. No human being is. Not even canonized saints.
But he had a vision for how Christ’s teachings could transform generations of murderous injustice, and how the Church could transform an indifferent wider society. I know in my heart Dr. King’s vision came from God. It is too beautiful to have been derived solely from human imagination unguided by the divine.
I deeply admire Dr. King’s courage and faith. I continue to be awed that after an assassination attempt nearly killed his wife and baby daughter, Dr. King had the peace and love in his heart to preach nonviolence when a crowd gathered on his front yard with understandable rage and a desire for vengeance. How many of us suffer much more modest slights and cannot be dissuaded from returning evil for evil?
I love that in our country we take time to honor a man like Dr. King with a federal holiday. He was never elected to any secular office. He did not command military soldiers in battle. He was a private citizen who worked in the private sector throughout his life. It is inspiring that any of us could also do great things for our country without entering politics or the military.
Likely because of the separation of church and state, religion has flourished in our country like no other. It is therefore not surprising that the one person we honor with a federal holiday--beyond Christopher Columbus and our first president—was a clergyman. As a man of God, Dr. King showed us the power of faith and the Church when focused and directed towards good.
The link below includes a video of one of my favorite hymns, which was closely associated with the Civil Rights Movement that Dr. King led. The video includes an absolutely beautiful rendition of the hymn as sung by the Morehouse College Glee Club.
The following link includes a sermon of Dr. King’s that was inspired by that same hymn. The accompanying video includes a serious of fascinating photos of Dr. King, his family, friends and others during the Civil Rights Movement.
I hope you enjoy these videos. And however you will be observing Dr. King’s birthday this year, I wish you much peace and much love in your heart. I also ask you to pray for everyone in your circle of influence. Specifically, I encourage you to pray that peace and love will also fill their hearts. Though I am a lawyer and I agree that secular law can be an important tool to protect human rights, as a Christian I believe that the only way true and lasting peace can be achieved is through conversion of human hearts.
Proverbs 29:18 (21st Century King James Version)
Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.