Photo credit: Marilyn Nieves
Northeastern Seminary students share reflections and thoughts on the life and ministry of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This series features voices of students pursuing many different areas of theological study and ministry preparation. Their unique insight and response to the call to ministry provide thoughtful and moving windows into the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As I reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. I feel both sadness and hope. Every year for the last 42 years there has been an ecumenical Martin Luther King, Jr. service, in the city of Auburn, N.Y. and this year is no exception. This year’s service will mark 43 years of remembering the legacy of Dr. King and his hopes and dreams of reconciliation among and between God’s varied children. Forty-three years of coming together for a moment in time to celebrate King. A special ecumenical service where we are called to forget the brokenness, the fragmentation of the body of Christ witnessed in our varied denominations and segregated worship settings. The sadness I feel is the realization and recognition that it takes an act of intentionality, a special ecumenical service for us to remember and recall the meaning and purpose behind King’s dream. As we celebrate King’s legacy, we must wrestle with the realization that King’s dream is not yet fully realized. My hope comes from knowing that there are those who refuse to let go of King’s legacy, who continue to fight to keep his dream alive.
For the last two years, I have had the privilege of being able to participate in the remembrance of King’s life and legacy. It is a reminder that I have a part to play not just in remembering his legacy but in helping it become a reality. As I journey through seminary trying to discern God’s call for my life, I have learned what it means to passionately fight for what you believe. From the early church fathers to the reformers to Dr. King, people have fought for what is true and what is right. I may not know where the road leads, but I am certain that I cannot serve God unless I serve God’s people. I too must be willing to fight for what is right and true. It is my turn to take up the mantle and fight for others as others have fought for me.
Shavonn Lynch (M.Div) serves at Auburn Rehab and Nursing Center in Auburn, N.Y. She is active in ministry and attends Westminster Presbyterian Church in Auburn.