Wednesday, April 4 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. He was in Memphis, TN to lead a march in support of striking sanitation workers. The night before his death, he gave his last speech at Mason Temple. It is known to many as by Dr. King's famous phrase near the end of the speech, "I've been to the mountaintop." It seems that he had a sense of his own impending death. Yet that speech was not meant to be about his death. Rather it was Dr. King's call for people to take a stand for justice during the challenging days of 1968 in general and in support of justice for the sanitation workers in Memphis in particular. The video below features the last 15 minutes of the speech. If you do not have time to listen to the whole speech this week, please at least view the video. Dr. King interprets Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan and applies it to the situation in Memphis. That interpretation applies equally to any struggle for justice in our time. He follows that up with these words that are just as true in 2018 as they were in 1968:
Let us rise up tonight with greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. Let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation.
It is important that we take time to remember the witness of Dr. King whose life ended 50 years ago this week. It is just as important that we recommit ourselves to the non-violent, faithful, self-sacricial, loving way of Jesus that was at the heart of Dr. King's life and that is at the heart of God's call to justice today. That is the way we will move toward fulfilling the challenge to Make America What It Ought To Be.