Whenever Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday celebration comes around, I am always reminded about 3 things – the dream, the determination and the destiny.
The infamous speech that was delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 encapsulated a dream for the future. What would happen if God’s people would dream more of God’s dreams?
It is hard to imagine the adversity that MLK faced as he was trying to bring change to a nation. No like really likes change. Sometimes people will do anything to stop change. But it never stopped him from being focused on the dream.
The dictionary defines “destiny” as, “the predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible, course of events.” It is humbling to know that MLK’s dream, which was the dream of so many people, was not fully realized while he was alive. But this is where we have to believe that he was chosen for that time (kairos moment).
Here are some of his quotes,
“A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.
“A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.”
One of my favorites is the one that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave in his letter from a Birmingham jail to pastors in the area in April 16, 1963:
“There was a time when the church was very powerful. It was during that period when the early Christians rejoiced when they were deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. But they went on with the conviction that they were ‘a colony of heaven,’ and had to obey God rather than man. They were small in number but big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be ‘astronomically intimidated.’ Things are different now. The contemporary church is often a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. It is so often the arch supporter of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent and often vocal sanction of things as they are. But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If the church of today does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authentic ring, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. I am meeting young people every day whose disappointment with the church has risen to outright disgust. I hope the church as a whole will meet the challenge of this decisive hour.”
MLK giving his famous “I Have A Dream” speech
I love this picture because you can feel the intensity and the focus