Merry Christmas Friends!
Many times the way forward is to look back, to read and study the wisdom of prophetic leaders whose brilliance opens us to the limitless possibilities and potentialties that reside within and between us.
On Christmas day nearly a half-century ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood before his congregation at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and gave a sermon, his final Christmas sermon. Four months later he would die at the hands of an assassin in Memphis, Tennessee.
Dr. King’s foresight on the interdependency and the interconnectedness of a globalized world should stop us in our tracks — especially on this Christmas day in 2017.
As we face realities, globally and nationally, uncertainty and fears, drink our Starbucks and unwrap our presents, Dr. King’s message root us in our humanity and in our better selves.
I invite you to read aloud (or Listen) to Dr. King’s sermon with your Beloved, family and children on this sacred time of year and remember the dream we must realize in the days ahead of us.
“Peace on Earth …This Christmas season finds us a rather bewildered human race. We have neither peace within nor peace without. Everywhere paralyzing fears harrow people by day and haunt them by night. Our world is sick with war; everywhere we turn we see its ominous possibilities. And yet, my friends, the Christmas hope for peace and goodwill toward all men can no longer be dismissed as a kind of pious dream of some utopian. If we don’t have goodwill toward men in this world, we will destroy ourselves by the misuse of our own instruments and our own power. Wisdom born of experience should tell us that war is obsolete. There may have been a time when war served as a negative good by preventing the spread and growth of an evil force, but the very destructive power of modern weapons of warfare eliminates even the possibility that war may any longer serve as a negative good. And so, if we assume that life is worth living, if we assume that mankind has a right to survive, then we must find an alternative to war – and so let us this morning think anew on the meaning of that Christmas hope: “Peace on Earth, Good Will toward Men.” And as we explore these conditions, I would like to suggest that modern man really go all out to study the meaning of nonviolence, its philosophy, and its strategy…
…If there is to be peace on earth and goodwill toward men, we must finally believe in the ultimate morality of the universe, and believe that all reality hinges on moral foundations. Something must remind us of this as we once again stand in the Christmas season and think of the Easter season simultaneously, for the two somehow go together. Christ came to show us the way. Men love darkness rather than the light, and they crucified Him, and there on Good Friday on the Cross it was still dark, but then Easter came, and Easter is an eternal reminder of the fact that the truth-crushed earth will rise again. Easter justifies Carlyle in saying, “No lie can live forever.” And so this is our faith, as we continue to hope for peace on earth and goodwill toward men: let us know that in the process we have cosmic companionship…”
Celebrating Hope and Possibilities this Christmas,