Preparing for this weekend’s service I’ve been collecting quotes from the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King – who we remember and honor as a nation next Monday (and we will acknowledge in our services). Reading through his words I am reminded again of the courage and vision that God used in extraordinary ways to transform the world. I’m also reminded that churches like Mountaintop would not exist with the sacrifice that he and so many other’s made.
One of the quotes summed up his life so well:
The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important.
Reading through these encourages me to focus on the quality of my life:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent.
He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.
I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
The time is always right to do what is right.
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.
The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.
The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'
Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.
Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.
We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.
The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968