By Dave C. Joseph Jr., Pastor of Care & Counseling
Every year, on the third Monday of January, we celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was a champion in the Civil Rights Movement. His faith and his deep convictions about the image of God in all people caused him to lead a nonviolent movement for justice and righteousness.
If you find yourself not understanding the significance of this day, his famous I Have a Dream speech, as well as one of his many letters, Letter from a Birmingham Jail, are great places to start your journey of understanding the legacy of Dr. King.
To remember this day, we asked one of our pastors to share what this day means for him.
Every year, Martin Luther King Jr. Day reminds me of how we are to live out our purpose no matter what the culture is doing.
Martin Luther King Jr. hung out in circles that most people would consider inappropriate, racially and socially. He was by no means a perfect man, but he was willing to be used by God to help others. This reminder every year challenges me to focus, not on my personal desire for perfection, but on how I am perfect in Christ. I can live daily with intentionality to push for change that will help others. Many times, Martin Luther King Jr. was a champion for change when others were accepting an unhealthy reality.
This day reminds me everything I learned and studied about Martin Luther King’s life, and the life of his son. It reminds me that both were willing to sacrifice relationships that they held dear for a better tomorrow; to even change how they identify themselves for a focus and vision for change. Born as Michael King (and Michael King Jr.), Martin Luther King changed his name and his son’s name, inspired by the namesake of the Protestant Reformation leader.
Martin Luther King Jr. wrote letters, spoke out, traveled endlessly and tirelessly, to spotlight systemic racism within our country. He sacrificed family time, sleep, and his freedom to challenge inequality in places of work, worship, and every place in between by marching and using any platform to promote an idea that we are still growing into and striving for today.
I’m reminded that our seasons are short and we never know how or when God will take us home, but we can leave a mark that leaves an eternal legacy. This Day reminds me that I have to take advantage of the opportunities in front of me, to be a blessing to those before me. This day reminds me that sometimes I have to embrace pain so that others can embrace change.
Lastly, Martin Luther King Jr. Day reminds me that we must share our dreams with others! That God has given us the opportunity and ability to change the tone and focus of conversations. This Day challenges me to love my neighbors as much as I love myself.
Brother in Christ,
Dave C Joseph Jr.
Pastor of Care & Counseling