Martin Luther King Jr was a black American preacher who became a civil rights activist. He taught ‘active non-violent resistance to evil’ and opposed racism and segregation. In many ways he was a flawed hero, but he was a committed and sincere man who died for his faith and for the freedom of his people. The day before he was shot he said:
‘I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity. I won’t have any money to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. But I just want to do God’s will. With this faith I will go out and carve a tunnel of hope from a mountain of despair. He allowed me to go up the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. Black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing with the Negroes in the spiritual of old: Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty we are free at last.’
Give me courage, my Lord, to resist evil without violence, patiently and with great hope in You, loving those whom you have called me to serve, my neighbours and my enemies, as Your Son taught us. And may the day soon come when all people will be able to praise You for the freedom You give to us all. Amen.