Over the past few days I’ve been re-introduced to a book I bought a couple of years ago, The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr. I purchased it at The King Center in Atlanta, GA on a youth ministry event a while back, and have just now gotten around to reading it to its entirety. I’m pretty ashamed of myself that prior to my visit, all I knew about Dr. King was “I have a dream,” and that he was a pretty big initiator in the Civil Rights Movement. Shame on me, I know, hit my wrist… I’m embarrassed, too.
So anywho, I pulled the autobiography back out again this past week as I was searching for wisdom for our upcoming series in youth ministry world, and five hours later, my nose was still in its pages, as if Dr. King was sitting in my office bestowing all kinds of wisdom on me from 50+ years ago.
I don’t know why I have the tendency to forget that the battles I’m fighting have already been fought, that somewhere, someone has echoed the same sentiments about ______, _________, and _______. But today, I am thankful for Dr. King. Not just because he told people about his dream, but because he lived in a way that no one could ignore. Today I was struck by these words in particular, from The Poor People’s Campaign.
I read Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto years ago when I was a student in college. And many of the revolutionary movements in the world came into being as a result of what Marx talked about. The great tragedy is that Christianity failed to see that it had the revolutionary edge. You don’t have to go to Karl Marx to learn how to be a revolutionary. I didn’t get my inspiration from Karl Marx; I got it from a man named Jesus, a Galilean saint who said he was anointed to heal the broken-hearted. He was anointed to deal with the problems of the poor. And that is where we get our inspiration. And we go out in a day when we have a message for the world, and we can change this world and this nation.
Thanks, Dr. King, for reminding us that we are not the only ones that believe Jesus can change the entire world.