Honoring the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
“How often the church has been an echo rather than a voice, a tail-light behind the Supreme Court and other secular agencies, rather than a headlight guiding men progressively and decisively to higher levels of understanding.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.; Strength to Love
We rightfully recognize the life and accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr., on the holiday celebrating his legacy. If we are to fully honor the work of Dr. King, though, this recognition cannot be reserved for one day each year. We, especially those of us in the Church, must continue to actively pursue justice.
In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Dr. King expressed his disappointment with white moderates. Included in his list of laments for the white moderate of his day is one “who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”
Dr. King didn’t pull many punches with his words.
Behind his statement is a prophetic call to shalom. “Shalom” means peace, but not a peace which is an absence of tension or conflict. Justice and righteousness must both be present for shalom to be realized, a presence which only comes through active pursuit.
Transform Minnesota recognizes the continuing need to combat racism and pursue justice. This need is not only something we see in history, nor is it only to be addressed after crisis. As Dr. King notes, there is also no “more convenient season” in the future to address injustice. The Church has a biblical call to lead the consistent, persistent, righteous pursuit of justice at all times.