January 17, 2005

King's dream of Christian service. How do you serve?

Martin Luther King's legacy is always the subject of much debate and deliberation at this time of year, when the national holiday to commemorate his birth takes place.

There are those who insist that it is not deserved, due to King's activities that some consider to be subversive; there are others who look at it as an excuse and means to denigrate and verbally attack those who do not agree with them politically or socially; and there are those who simply look at it as an excuse for a day off work on the heels of the Christmas/New Year holiday timeframe.

Then there are those who look on this as a day of service -- service to their home, to their community, to their way of life. Some participate by joining in commemorative services, some by reflective thought, some by serving their fellow man, and some - simply by partaking in the American Dream and going to work.

Contrary to the carpings of Jesse Jackson and others who pretend to know what Dr. King would be doing today, why not celebrate the man and his work? Why take the time, as Jackson did in a Jonesboro, GA pulpit yesterday, to attack the Bush Administration or anyone else who disagrees with you?

Dr. King worked so that I, and others, would have the opportunity to openly disagree with the status quo, and to disagree with each other. He worked so that voices wouldn't be silenced simply for being contrary to the larger whole.

I'd like to think that Dr. King would be proud of someone like myself, who takes the time to think and speak my own mind, and who encourages others to do the same.

Across town from me, at Atlanta's Turner Field, hundreds of volunteers work to put the finishing touches on a hot meal and to assemble resources for the city's homeless. The annual effort also provides access to showers and a haircut for those who would otherwise be forgotten. Volunteers with job service knowledge and skills to share, provide help where possible to those homeless, in order that they might be able to lift themselves up by their own bootstraps and remove themselves from the homeless population.

That is their service. They give voice and action to Dr. King's dream of Christian brotherhood, fellowship and mission to and for all. And though there are many who look past that portion of King's dream in favor of other, more "glory-seeking" goals, is it not better to serve yourself, your family and your fellow man? I would dare say it was better in Dr. King's eyes, and it certainly is far better in God's eyes.

Today, I sit in my office, at work. I work to better my company, to better myself and to better my family. I give voice to that work, and am proud to do so. That is how I serve. I am certain Dr. King would applaud my service.

And you? How do you serve?

Posted by mhking at January 17, 2005 09:40 AM

Well said, sir, well said.

Posted by: BobG at January 17, 2005 10:08 AM

I'm like you... today is another work day. I'll admit that it's kind of nice to flog the word processor without the phone ringing constantly. Maybe I can get ahead a little bit. For that, I'm thankful. And maybe I'll go out and watch the parade when it goes by the office.


Posted by: Bob Baird at January 17, 2005 10:58 AM

The title "Dr." King is a bit of a misnomer as he plagiarized his doctoral thesis, along with much of his scholarly and civil rights work.

Posted by: Joshua Claybourn at January 17, 2005 12:30 PM

My first knowledge of Martin Luther KIng was when he was asassinated. I was five years old and I thought our King had died!

Of course, I learned later that what I remembered was MLK's departure from this old world.

It was in January or April of '83 that I heard a non-stop presentation of his speeches on a local college radio station. It was his near-embodiment of honey rather than vinegar that made me a huge fan right then. He knew, and I learned, that people will listen if they don't feel like they're being assaulted -- even if they know they're wrong.

MLK did more for civil rights in a few short years than Jesse Jackson can ever do in all of his decades. Jackson can wail like a preacher with the best of 'em, but his rhetoric often rings shallow, not universal.

Martin Luther King forgot more than Jesse Jackson will ever know about how to inspire us to our best possible future.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at January 17, 2005 11:31 PM

Lies. MLK would be resisting Bush most certainly. Any who claim he would bless Bush's butchery are delusional or liars.

Posted by: VP Admin at January 22, 2005 05:19 PM
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