Today is both Martin Luther King Jr Day (the third Monday in January) and Religious Freedom Day (January 16th).
It’s fitting to observe these two special days at the same time. Martin Luther King Jr was a Christian pastor who frequently quoted Scripture in his eloquent speeches that often sounded like sermons. His Christian faith undergirded his passion for social justice and equality, and he followed the non-violent path of Jesus Christ. He led people to great strides in civil rights in a time before political correctness removed faith from the public square.
Many people say that our country is more racially divided today than for many years. I suspect the curtailing of religious freedom has a lot to do with that. Instead of peaceful protests by people of faith, we have riots by unruly mobs. Instead of prayer for better relationships, we have violent demands. Instead of increased unity and peace, we have disunity and rancor.
Today as we give thanks for Dr. King’s accomplishments, let us vow to protect religious freedom. May we heal the wounds of division and hate and share the love and peace of the Lord.
O LORD Jesus Christ, who saidst unto thine Apostles, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; Regard not our sins, but the faith of thy Church; protect religious freedom in the United States; and grant to thy Church and to this country that peace and unity which is according to thy will; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen. (Adapted from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer)
Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr, shares some words of wisdom for today in this video.