I love Dr. King because of his intellect, faith, imperfections, vulnerability, sensitivity, consistency, and commitment to a cause greater than himself.
I love Dr. King as a follower of Jesus, as a fellow pastor, and as a man who struggled with the meaning of his times in the light of theological realities.
I honor Dr. King as an overcomer who believed that all unmerited suffering was redemptive.
I honor and love him because at the core of his philosophy was a rugged theology of and commitment to love.
I honor and love Dr. King because he demonstrated that peaceful resistance to evil can be more powerful than violence or force.
He lived out that dimension of Jesus' example meeting external strength with inner strength, accepting the consequences of taking a stand, and offering one's life in the service of God and others.
We live in an era when it is respectable to honor Martin King, but everything he taught and demonstrated is up for grabs. We are drifting into the very old notion that only force can accomplish good and that the only security we can know is that of worldly power.
But that kind of power shifts, waxes, wanes, and changes hands. The strength Dr. King knew and demonstrated was the strength to love.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a human being, flawed like the rest of us, sometimes troubled, but overcoming in every attitude and action. He was playful and fun-loving and found joy in sorrow and in the work to which he had reportedly been reluctantly called.
In the end he said, "I just want to do God's will." It was as if he saw his own death.
His dream became the dream for a generation to come after him. It was not so important for him to go to the promised land because he saw it. It became a promised land for all people.
It was all wrapped in his theology and his theology was wrapped in love.
It is a good thing that we pause today to reflect upon this great American life, this Christian life, because what he dreamed and lived has significance for all of us.
His legacy has freed many of us in ways we do not even realize.
My ancestors were never slaves to white masters or to racist public policy. But mine were slaves to the institution of slavery and the attitudes of racism, to hatred, bigotry, and perversion of the gospel of Jesus.
Martin Luther King set us free as well.----------------------------------------------
To to truly grasp King's thinking, I would read, "Strength to Love."