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.
Almost 200 years after the Declaration of Independence was set to paper, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., stood before the Lincoln Memorial, in the shadow of the great emancipator, to offer testimony to a rampant injustice that persisted in that day. He spoke in a tone of hope that many of us have become all too familiar and comfortable with. He said, “I have a dream ...”
It would be easy to look around at the world today and fall into the temptation of despair in the belief that this giant, on whose shoulders we stand, worked for nothing. However, we must not forget the words of Dr. King. He said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” His message was that our fight for unity and equality must never yield to the lowest common denominator. We must never give ground to those who would keep our world, our nation, or our community divided. We must always press on and continue to take our stand for that which we believe and hope in.
Dr. King’s dream has yet to be realized. We, as a nation, remain stuck in a struggle to embody the unity that our founding fathers promised when they penned the words, “We the People.” So, the challenge falls to this generation to keep the pursuit of unity and equality alive.
But why? Why should we keep pressing on in hope of a brighter tomorrow when the outcome seems so unattainable? We do it because we know the truth that the human race is stronger together.
We are stronger when the diversity which defines humankind serves all of us. We are stronger when each unique person is allowed to contribute their skills and talents to the community. We are stronger when all of us have a voice and a choice, when we are all heard. We are stronger when the communities we form resemble all of the people, not just the majority. King knew that tomorrow could be brighter if we, the people, allow the true beauty of diversity to reside and be valued in our nation and in our community. He took his stand for his dream. Now, we must ask ourselves how we will take ours.
Zeb Hough (M.Div.) is pastor at Ridgeland Community Church in Henrietta, NY. As pastor at Ridgeland, Zeb works to build vibrant community of followers that is authentic, warm and caring.