Posted by: morgan1965 | January 15, 2012

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on His Birthday

Today we celebrate the birthday of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. This great American became somewhat of a legend during his own lifetime. He died the death of a martyr, but he lived the life of a pilgrim disciple and a Christian servant.

The year 1929 was the year of the historic stock market crash that traumatized the nation economically. The month was January, a winter month, couched in the season of Epiphany. Epiphany, of course, is a Christian festival and it is observed on January 6. The festival is a commemoration of the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, notably in the persons of the Magi.

It is my belief that God raised up a prophet, Martin Luther King, Jr. who “disrupted the tranquility of the nation, paralyzed and confused power structures, advocated creative tension, practiced civil disobedience and left a trail of turmoil and chaos.” King was a manifestation of God’s prophet among us, and he helped America to become a better place. He was a “drum major” for justice and a beacon of God’s light, the light of Christ.

Martin Luther King was reared in a Christian home. His parents taught him about Jesus. King answered God’s call and became a Baptist minister. But God also called him to be a leader in the civil rights movement. In Memphis, Tennessee he laid down his life on behalf of the striking sanitation workers. These workers symbolized the poor in America and the poverty stricken people of the world. King taught that love should be the “regulating ideal.” King wanted all people to be free and to be treated with equality of opportunity.

Because Martin Luther King, Jr. lived among us for a time, the nation and the world are not the same. He made a difference. He joined with others in the effort to bring the walls of racial segregation tumbling down.

The struggle, however, goes on because Dr. King would want us to continue to work together in the fight against injustices, discrimination, poverty, and racism.

Today, on the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we give thanks to God for giving us a prophet who served among us and gave his life for the cause of justice. In this season of Epiphany we thank God who gave us Jesus Christ, a manifestation of God’s love for us. The courageous life of Martin Luther King helps us to understand what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, the light of the world.


  1. The Rev. Jim Lewis came to our Sunday School Class at Cross Lanes UMC to talk to us about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. He began by emphasizing Dr. King’s role as prophet in our midst. He told us to beware of any expressions of honoring that would diminish his work as a prophet.

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