This month we are excited about the upcoming release of Better Together: Discovering the Power of Community. You can pre-order it right here.
And with that, we are spending this month talking about how we do life better together. As we approach the day set aside to remember the late and great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I can’t help but think about how much our world has become better by what he did.
Together with so many leaders and volunteers who worked and marched, he tried to make America a better place and many continue to do so in his honor. Unfortunately, we still have ways to go to defeat racism in our country, but thanks to the work of Dr. King, and those who keep his dream alive, we can continue what he started. Here are three things that he did–and that we should continue to do:
1. He worked to awaken America, especially the church.
Though his impact was on our entire nation, the call began with the church. If we call ourselves Jesus followers, then we need to love everyone. If we believe God made everyone in His image, then we need to remember that every person has worth, value, and dignity.
We have a moral responsibility to protect the vulnerable, speak up for the voiceless, and care for the marginalized. That is the essence of the gospel and that ought to be the conscience of every person of faith.
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doin‘ for others?’” Dr. King
2. He allowed God to work through him.
Dr. King wasn’t perfect, nor did he claim to be. But he allowed the love of God to motivate him and guide him. It overrode his natural desire for comfort and self-preservation. He did more for the cause of equal rights than any other single American, and yet achieved it by preaching a message of love at a time when it would have been much easier to preach hate. In our world today, when we think that the best way to leverage our view is anger rants on social media, remember, Dr. King took the path of love and forgiveness. And just as God used him—he can use us.
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” Dr. King
3. He understood that “Gospel” is an action word, not just a ticket to Heaven.
The word gospel means “good news” and is often used in reference to the good news of Jesus’ love. But this good news is for all of us–it’s not just our way to get to Heaven, and it’s not just for Sundays. It compels believers to address the issues of injustice anywhere.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. King
What if this year we decided to join his cause–to join with the church to oppose racism, to allow God’s love to override hate and even preference, and to put our faith into action? If we did, we would truly be better—together.
“Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.” Dr. King