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 day of Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights Leader and Martyr, from Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints.
On this day, the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church commemorate his life and legacy. King was certainly a modern day prophet, whose vision of freedom for African Americans transcends race and time and speaks to all oppressed people. All of us can be inspired and moved by King’s words. Especially moving to me is his last Sunday sermon, entitled “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” which he preached at Washington National Cathedral on April 9, 1968. If you’ve never listened to this sermon, I highly recommend you do so. An audio recording of it is available here.
Thank you, Martin Luther King, Jr., for speaking out against oppression and injustice. Our entire society has more hope and is better because of you.