Wednesday, January 14, 2015

MLK, Jr., remembrances

As we all surely know, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday. In the Episcopal Church calendar, we have two days on which we can remember him. Thursday, January 15, is the alternate date; April 4 the primary one. The Sisters of St. Margaret will be remembering him tomorrow.

Martin Luther King, Jr. - Episcopal Lectionary Page

Martin Luther King, Jr. preaching from the Cathedral’s pulpit on May 17, 1956 (The Cathedral Archives).
Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City

Big events going on everywhere. The photo above is attached to an announcement about events at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.  Naturally, there are less well publicized events right here in eastern MA.

Here is the first event I am excited about. (When did I start getting excited about preaching and anti-racisim panels?)  I'm putting out a sign-up sheet to take a carload of Sisters up to Boston with me.

Bishop Curry, Marian Wright Edelman at Trinity, Copley Square, Boston

Then, on Monday, some of us will be attending the Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Prayer Breakfast sponsored by the Duxbury Interfaith Council. If you are from the area, please join us.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Prayer Breakfast
Duxbury Interfaith Council

With so much that has happened this year and all these needless deaths bringing our ingrained racism into the spotlight, it's important that we spend time in prayer - always, of course, but especially this weekend. This cultural situation need not continue. There can be healing. It's going to take a lot of repentance and work for justice, though - it won't fix itself. We've tried that...

If Martin Luther King and all those who had the courage to march back then could remember that in God, there is always hope, then so can we. With God, nothing is impossible. We just need to participate. God's not going to make us do it.

I learned today that his final sermon was at the Washington National Cathedral.

A closing excerpt from Dr. King's final sermon, which was at the Washington National Cathedral:

We shall overcome because James Russell Lowell is right—as we were singing earlier today,

Truth forever on the scaffold,
Wrong forever on the throne.
Yet that scaffold sways the future.
And behind the dim unknown stands God,
Within the shadow keeping watch above his own
With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair the stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.

Thank God for John, who centuries ago out on a lonely, obscure island called Patmos caught vision of a new Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God, who heard a voice saying, "Behold, I make all things new; former things are passed away."

God grant that we will be participants in this newness and this magnificent development. If we will but do it, we will bring about a new day of justice and brotherhood and peace. And that day the morning stars will sing together and the sons of God will shout for joy. God bless you.

The full text is absolutely worth reading:

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Almighty God, by the hand of Moses your servant you led your people out of slavery, and made them free at last; Grant that your Church, following the example of your prophet Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of your love, and may secure for all your children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.  (Collect for the Feast of Martin Luther King, Jr.)

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