Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the gospel


The gospel at its heart is the proclamation of God that his grace and kingdom has come in Jesus the Messiah. The one hope of the world. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke, at a crucial point in American history something of the goal of the gospel into this nation and its stronghold in opposition to that. At great personal cost not only in the end. He taught and lived out a resisting of evil by speaking and doing good. Not in returning evil for evil. Or even in defending one’s self.

The gospel brings reconciliation to God and humankind, and breaks down the barriers between humans. Racism divides peoples all over the earth. In America with the legacy of injustice in slavery, the struggle to overcome long after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was far from over.

The church needs prophetic voices such as that we heard from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Speaking the truth of God’s kingdom come in Jesus into the the cultures of earth, the strongholds of sin in this world. Lacking this, we lack the outworking of the gospel. In fact we are not proclaiming the fullness of the gospel when we fail to see its application as touching all of culture and creation.

We know this world’s system will be overturned only when Jesus reappears. Now it is the church, Christ’s body on earth, which lives out God’s kingdom come in Jesus. The church which is the light of the world and the salt of the earth in and through Jesus, in its following of him.

And so the gospel is about personal salvation, yes. To know God personally. And it is also about the salvation ultimately of the world. In terms of God’s kingdom come in Jesus. A light now present by which the powers and authorities will be judged. Meant to bring good even here and now. Through us in Jesus. As we await the one who will bring complete peace and concord when heaven and earth become one in him.

In sharing this video, I am not endorsing the organization which posted it, nor am I now suggesting that the organization is not doing good.

a prayer for peace

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer