A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I shared this Sunday at Indian Creek Community Church. Good morning Indian Creek. Before we head into today’s message I want to take a moment and pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the man and his message. Dr. King fought tirelessly for Civil Rights in America. Every one of us benefits today from his vision.

A lot us were raised with stories of the civil war but not as many of us know the stories of the war for civil rights. Dr. King and his contemporaries took the fight against prejudice to places like Selma, Birmingham, Topeka, Little Rock and Montgomery. It would be well worth your time to learn the history and understand the sacrifices many made for the freedoms we enjoy. I think it should be required reading for everyone to read his “Letters from a Birmingham jail.” His sense of justice and the motives of his heart for peaceful resistance are outstanding. As you know, he paid the ultimate price to live out his vision.

Dr. King left us so many great quotes. I’ve been featuring them on my twitter and Facebook account. I wanted to read one of my favorites today: “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people”. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I think Dr. King’s Letters from a Birmingham jail should be required readying for every Christ follower.

I remember this quote when it comes to dealing with some of the more recent challenges we have in our nation over issues like we face in Ferguson and the fall out from it. I work some with the immigration issue and I think it is likely to be another version of the civil rights struggle. On top of that in this generation we face a decided push to move Islam into the mainstream at the same time that ISIS is practicing genocide in Iraq attempting to purge Kurdistan of Christians.

It’s like my 5 yr. old grandson Landon said last week while I was laying down with him tucking him in, “life is not simple.”

We must remember that we are all sons and daughters of one Father. We have different customs, languages and pigmentation in our skin but we are brothers and sisters. We believe different things but if you cut us we all bleed the same.

We believe Jesus came to establish the kingdom of heaven. It is not a political kingdom it is a kingdom of love, justice, truth, healing and forgiveness. Jesus died so we can live, live together and live with Him. Those of us who’ve accepted Jesus are first and foremost disciples of Jesus before we are white, black, yellow or brown. We are first and foremost children of God before we are Americans, Mexicans, or insert any other country here.

I’m grateful for those who’ve gone before us, like Dr. King, to work in the public arena and the civic and civil government to ensure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If you read about his life you can hear and see the same truths I’ve just shared with you were the foundation of his belief system. When it is our turn on the stage of life let’s not forget but remember and build on the gains of the past. We stand on their shoulders today when we build for a better tomorrow.

Thank you Dr. King may we keep learning from you.

Gary Kendall