Posted by: morgan1965 | April 5, 2010

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The year 1968 was a memorable year in our history for many reasons. From a personal perspective, 1968 was a special year for me because I graduated from theological seminary, and I was ordained as an Elder in the United Methodist Church. From a national perspective, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Thursday, April 4, 1968, etched the year forever in the annals of world history.

Forty- two years later, we are observing the anniversary of Dr. King’s death on Easter Sunday. Martin King, of course, was a modern day disciple of Jesus Christ. King taught his followers the principles of love, reminding them that the regulating ideal is love. It was Jesus who taught us to love God and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Martin King believed that we could do no less, so he called on all people to live out the dream of equality.

The year 1968 was a tumultuous year for a variety of reasons. Robert Kennedy was killed by an assassin as he campaigned for the presidency of the United States. There were numerous anti Vietnam War protests throughout the western world. The assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. led to violence and race riots in United States cities. Following King’s assassination, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Acts of 1968. Fifty thousand people participated in “The Poor People’s March” on June 19th in Washington, DC. These were a few of the dynamic events that had a significant impact on the entire US society.

From the perspective of technology, 1968 was a banner year. The Boeing 747 made its maiden flight. NASA launched Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission. Apollo 8 orbited the moon, becoming the first manned space mission to achieve this feat. In the field of medicine, Dr. Christian Barnard performed the first successful heart transplant. Oh yes, the “emergency 911 telephone service” was started in the USA; and the First Philadelphia Bank installed the first automated teller machine in the U.S.

All of these events, human and technological, brought about changes in our society. The death of Martin Luther King, Jr. caused America to reexamine its conscience. America read again King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Hopefully, the observance of the anniversary of King’s death will foster a renewed commitment to the development of the “Beloved Community.”

When we celebrate Easter Day, we remember the Jesus of Nazareth and the Christ of the resurrection. The Easter event is about the Table, the Cross, and the Empty Tomb. It is about Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord and Savior. This observance renews our commitment to building up the body of Christ.

Let us always remember Martin Luther King, Jr., a student of the teachings of Jesus, and a drum major for justice, in the name of Jesus.

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Responses

  1. Thank you Bishop for your ministry! I appreciate the influence of Dr. Martin Luther King on my life and ministry. As you were graduating from seminary and ordained an Elder, I was receiving my License to Preach in the former Methodist Church and graduating from high school. The influence of men and women like you and Dr. King is a blessing to ministry.


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