Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Pastor Prayer for MLK Sunday

This morning we pray to you, O God, remembering the words of your minister of the gospel, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who spoke of a divine dissatisfaction. 

'Dr. Martin Luther King' photo (c) 2011, selma best videos - license:
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
He said, “Let us be dissatisfied until America will no longer have a high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds. Let us be dissatisfied until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort and the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the batters rams of the forces of justice. Let us be dissatisfied until those living on the outskirts of hope are brought into the metropolis of daily security. Let us be dissatisfied until slums are cast into the junk heap of history, and every family is living in a decent sanitary home…Let us be dissatisfied until every state capitol houses a governor who will do justly, who will love mercy and who will walk humbly with his God (sic).  Let us be dissatisfied until from every city hall, justice will roll, down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. Let us be dissatisfied until the day when the lion and the lamb shall lie down together, and every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid (sic).  Let us be dissatisfied.”

God, as we reflect on the words of Dr. King, we pause to remember also the injustice and oppression in our world today, and we know that we must also, as Reverend King said so many years ago, be dissatisfied.  We must be dissatisfied that the love and commitment between two men or two women is not allowed to be celebrated in marriage. We must be dissatisfied that our transsexual sisters and brothers are often derided as “freaks” and “wierdos” rather than loved as children of God.  We must be dissatisfied when people value a written sentence and a piece of metal more than the lives of the innocent. We must be dissatisfied that we live in the richest nation on earth, yet among us still remains untold scores of sick, hungry, and needy people. Let us be dissatisfied that despite the fact that we as a nation comprise the largest percentage of Christians in the world, we as a society show scant attention to putting into practice the teachings of Jesus in our nation. Let us be dissatisfied.

Yet as we remember this, we take comfort God that you are on the side of the oppressed, the marginalized, and the outcast. We take comfort as Dr. King said, that “the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”  We remember the victories of the civil rights movement in this country. We remember how in the face of beatings, fire hoses, angry mobs, and attack dogs they were able to stand and sing, “We Shall Overcome.” We remember the courage, the strength, and the love of your servants from so many years ago—and that gives us hope.

God, we must not be discouraged, we must be driven.  May we remember that “truth crushed to earth will rise again.”  May we move forward, being agents of your divine love in this world, a love that pushes for justice, for equality, and for freedom remembering the vision of a different kind of kingdom that Jesus spoke of so many years ago.

Because, God deep in my heart I do believe that we shall overcome. Deep in my heart, I do believe we will walk hand in hand.  Deep in my heart, O God, I do believe some day we shall all be free. 

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