Monday, January 16, 2012

Just another holiday ....

Another Martin Luther King Jr. Day has come and gone, and I admit I was stunned to notice that a number of retail establishments used the day to promote sales. Or perhaps I shouldn't have been, because that seems to be the American way.

This may surprise many of you, but despite my longtime admiration for him I was never enthused about making his birthday -- he would have been 83 yesterday -- into the holiday that it has become for just that reason. I feared that it would be just another day off and another reason for people to sell stuff. And I find that a tad sacrilegious.

For openers, what was Dr. King's occupation? That's right -- a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is not for sale at any price. Moreover, he helped to lead a great social movement ignored by many of the Christians of his day and reviled by others but nevertheless was used by God to destroy Jim Crow in the southeastern United States.

And while I understand that God used Dr. King to transform an entire region of the country, let us never forget that God did it. Yes, he had help -- from churches, secular organizations, Congress, the Supreme Court, helpful Northerners and Jews -- but let's keep in mind that the miracle that the civil-rights movement tried to enact represented the pulling down of a spiritual stronghold. Because racial segregation, simply put, was sin and ought to have been considered as such.

So even though much of the church was late on the scene, we Christians ought to remember him as an influential Christian leader. (To its credit, the Episcopal Church has long recognized him as one of its "martyrs.") Indeed, this is one day which fills me with the desire to worship God -- after all, it was through the movement that I first understood the Gospel.

That's why I'm disappointed that even Dr. King's memory has been sold out for the sake of trinkets. Rather, the churches should be packed in gratitude for what God did through him.


Butchy said...

I was seven years old when the lights went out in my school (Allison Elementary - Wilkinsburgh, PA). I can remember the feeling of hopelessness. Unfortunately, I did not feel that way because of the death of Martin Luther King. I felt that way because I did not know who this man was, and I had to asked a school mate what was going on,and she (Sherrie Johnson - we both lived on Mill Street)said that MLK was assassinated. I said who? and she repeated his name, and I said oh! who is that, and she, as we were being escorted out of a dark school, said . . .she began to explain.

My point, this should not be a holiday . . . it should be a holy day because this man came down and gave his life for all men. . . A Man . . .

Mark said...

I beleive Dr King would apporove of your portrayal of him. There are many who would like us to beleive that , Dr, King was a pastor who left the ministry to become an activist. Whether you did or did not agree with him; he did what he did out of conscience before God. True it is " Just" another commercialized holiday. But, how long would it be before most forgot all together. I call 911 , "the never forget we already forgot". There will always be a vocal remnant who will remind America what the founders of what such holidays were established for ... God Bless You All ( John 3:17 )...Mark David Madden