“I’ve seen the promised land.”
Almighty God, by the hand of Moses your servant 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.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is remembered as a martyr on the calendar of the Episcopal Church with an annual feast day on the anniversary of his death, April 4, but his birthday is commemorated liturgically today.
King’s oldest daughter Yolanda was a classmate of mine at Smith College. She was a theater major, however, so I don’t think our paths crossed. “In life,” she said, “I had to be prim and proper and poised — the King daughter. But acting, I could be zany, silly, sometimes the foolish person that I am. I could let the rough edges show.” (NYTimes obit, 2007) I get that.
I am reminded today that my son’s poem “Stop the Violence” was awarded 1st place in the MLK poetry contest at his elementary school (or was it the school district?) back (circa) 1994 when he was in the second grade…I wish I had a copy of it to share with you, but it is lost in a dusty pile of memorabilia. I think he was given a medal.
I remember telling my children that Dr. King was a Baptist minister who believed that we are all God’s children. It is a good thing for all of us to keep in mind.
Martin Luther King, Jr. statue over the west entrance of Westminster Abbey, installed in 1998.