Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The third Monday in January marks a day of great celebration in America. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of God who helped pave the way for unity and freedom.

As we approach Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it is a blessing and honor to reflect on his memory and legacy. We are inspired by this devoted Christ-follower and servant leader who poured out his life for others in order to point us all toward God’s design for humanity. As we consider his legacy, let’s be encouraged to celebrate our oneness in Christ (I Corinthians 12).

How Can We Celebrate MLK Day?

1. Take time to read one of the books written by Martin Luther King Jr. himself. (Letters from a Birmingham Jail or Why We Can’t Wait)

2. Watch or read the “I Have a Dream” speech.

3. Read and reflect on Ephesians 4:4-6 which says, “You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.”

4. Pray. Do this alone or try to get a group together to pray for unity in the communities and in our nation.

This and next week, the City of Orlando has several opportunities and special events planned to honor the leader of the Civil Rights Movement. You can visit the link below to learn more about how you can participate.


Just a Sneeze Away

An excerpt from FirstWord, January 12, 2024; written by Dr. Steve and Mrs. Tricia Whitaker

Ten years before his assassination, Martin Luther King, Jr. survived an attempt on his life at a Harlem department store. He was signing books when he was approached by Izola Ware Curry, who stabbed him with a letter opener. He remained alert, and pictures showed him with the letter opener protruding from his chest. He was rushed into surgery, where the surgeons discovered the letter opener was lying beside his aorta, which, if penetrated, could have been fatal. A simple cough or sneeze could have caused this injury.

As he lay recovering in the hospital, he told the press he held no ill will toward Curry, who had a mental illness. He continued, “A climate of hatred and bitterness so permeates areas of our nation that inevitably deeds of extreme violence must erupt. The experience of these last few days has deepened my faith in the relevance of the spirit of nonviolence if necessary social change is peacefully to take place.”

In 1968, less than 24 hours before his death, he referenced this experience and described all the events he would have missed if he had sneezed. Selma, the “I Have a Dream” speech, sit-ins, and marches would have all happened much differently or not at all without King’s influence. 

He closed with these words: “Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”  

Steve and Tricia Whitaker