Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Quotations from MLK I Used in My Sunday Sermon

I'm a day late to honor MLK's holiday, at least in terms of putting this post up, but I am glad that I preached about MLK on Sunday. Some folks asked about certain quotations I used, so I thought I'd share them here, especially since most of them are available on-line.

When I spoke about MLK's words concerning American arrogance towards the rest of the world and concerning war, I read from "Beyond Vietnam--A Time to Break Silence." This is the speech he gave at Riverside Church in 1967. His opposition to the war resulted in criticism from many in the civil rights movement who felt like he was moving the focus away from race. As King explains, however, his opposition to the war was only the logical next step in his philosoph/theology of non-violence. This speech is available at American Rhetoric, where you can not only read the speech but listen to the audio of it.

When I spoke about the cynicism in today's culture which says one person cannot make a difference, I read from MLK's sermon "The Drum Major Instinct"--a truly powerful and awesome sermon. It is also more than a bit haunting to hear him talk about what kind of funeral he wants--one that is short and simply says he knew how to love. You can find this sermon at the site of MLK Papers Project of Stanford University. The page gives the full text and audio excerpts.

When I spoke about racism, I read from Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? (Boston: Beacon Press, 1968). When I spoke about the rampant consumerism of our culture, I read from “The Dimensions of a Complete Life,” in The Measure of a Man (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988). I'm not sure if either of these is on-line.
The picture above is what I showed the kids during the children's sermon. So often, we think of the serious and intense King. We forget that he smiled too.
Grace and Peace,

1 comment:

Bill R-H said...

Thanks for the reference to the Drum Major Instinct speech.

I used to recite that to my children every MLK holiday when they were very young.

It is, perhaps, one of the finest of King's articulations about justice, humility, and hope.

Bill Rose-Heim