Read + Reflect: 28 Days with Martin (Installment #5)

Welcome to the fifth and final installment of this series! Click here for the first installment.


One of the ways I’m encouraging my congregation to learn about the social roots of black oppression in modernity is through an educational series called Read + Reflect: 28 Days with Martin. Everyday in the month of February, I will publish a brief excerpt of Martin Luther King Jr.’s writing and a short reflection question on my church's Facebook account and via email to those who subscribe to our Social Justice Team. My hope is that these short, regular exposures to King’s words—which often expand beyond then-current race relations and into theology, philosophy, economics, and militarism—will stir something in people to become more educated, advocate for justice, and carry on King’s dream.



27 February 2023




“I still believe that standing up for the truth of God is the greatest thing in the world. This is the end of life. The end of life is not to be happy. The end of life is not to achieve pleasure and avoid pain. The end of life is to do the will of God, come what may.” (The Most Durable Power, 1957)



In this passage, King is implicitly pushing back against popular philosophies of the day, primarily “Utilitarianism” which claims the purpose of life is to maximize pleasure and avoid suffering. Instead, King contends that life’s goal is to do the will of God with little-to-no regard for the sacrifices we may need to make. What do you think God’s will is for the world at this current moment in history? What can you do to be in service of God’s will in this moment? 


28 February 2023




“And when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and hamlet, from every state and city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children—black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Catholics and Protestants—will be able to join hands and to sing in the words of the old [Black]* spiritual, ‘Free at last, free at last; thank God Almighty, we are free at last.” (I Have a Dream, 1963) [*Outdated or offensive term omitted and replaced]



King’s dream for a just, equitable, liberated world still lives on. As our month-long journey with Martin Luther King Jr. comes to an end, how can we, as a church, carry on his dream and work to make it a reality? 



[Unless otherwise noted, all quotations are taken from A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr., ed. James M. Washington, (New York: HarperCollins, 1991).]



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