As we remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we think about his
I HAVE A DREAM speech. In the speech, he spoke these words…
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
We also think about his Letter from the Birmingham Jail. In the letter he wrote to people of good will, to religious leaders of the day, including Episcopal leaders, and called them to speak out and take action for justice for Negroes.
In 2023 his words still resonate with us. We still have work to do to treat each other as equals, to speak out and take action for justice for African Americans and all marginalized people in our society.
In our Episcopal Baptismal vows, we make a promise to do these things–
Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the Prayers?
Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
I will, with God’s help.
Let us pray.
Heavenly Father, we stand before you in prayer, fixing our eyes on you, seeking your guidance, love, and protection. We ask for your help with eradicating the sin of racism in all its forms, individual and systemic.
You have told us in scripture that all of humankind is made in your image, and that we should act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with you. Prince of Peace, just as the shouts of Joshua’s army helped bring down the walls of Jericho, may we lift up our voices and work to bring down the walls of racism and divisiveness. We earnestly pray for the wisdom to pursue actions that will help dismantle racism wherever it exists. We pray that you will bring the world together so that we may become one loving family under God, living in harmony and peace. We ask this prayer with great humility and in the glorious name of your son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. AMEN.
Photo–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument, Washington, D.C., taken by Miriam Casey, September, 2022.