Happy Easter! - thoughts from Dr. Martin Luther King

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From: John Murtari (jmurtari@AKidsRight.org)
Date: Sun Apr 04 2010 - 12:58:31 EDT

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Good People & People of Faith,

Happy Easter!  
As I was preparing this message I saw the following CNN news
item. Today is the 42nd Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's
assassination in 1968.  The writer discusses an earlier Easter Sermon
of Dr. King, who like anyone also had doubts about positive change.
It still has meaning as we struggle against bias and seek to regain
our fundamental rights as parents. Some real sacrifice may be

[By Eddie S. Glaude, CNN, links at end] On April 27, 1957, Dr. King
delivered an Easter sermon titled, "Questions that Easter Answers." 
For him, Easter settled the mystery of death and secured for us the
importance of living a life in light of those forces that go beyond
our physical experience. We are not simply biological processes.

Instead, King argued, Easter cries out to us about the importance of
the unseen and of the personality, those "spiritual forces that are
eternal and not merely these material things that we look about and

       "You know every now and then, my friends, I doubt every now and
       then, I get disturbed myself every now and then. I become
       bewildered about this thing. I begin to despair every now and
       then and wonder why it is that the forces of evil seem to reign
       supreme and the forces of goodness seem to be trampled

       Every now and then I feel like asking God, 'Why is it that over
       so many centuries the forces of injustice have triumphed over
       the Negro and he has been forced to live under oppression and
       slavery and exploitation? Why is it, God?' " -- [Easter Sermon,
       page 7, link below]

... This view holds off the notion that life has no meaning or is
doomed to end in shipwreck. The fact that so many have lost their
jobs, their homes, their dreams in these difficult times confirms for
us that life carries with it a 'Good Friday' experience -- that
darkness and disappointment can be constant companions... 

For King, Easter teaches us that death does not have the last word;
that invisible forces are more real than the shadows that we currently
inhabit; and that the darkness of Good Friday may be necessary but
will eventually pass away.

Easter ultimately demonstrates that "love is the most powerful force
in the universe," said King. And this insight reaches beyond
Christians to all of us, no matter what we believe.

Here, love isn't some sentimental notion; instead, it involves risks,
daring and growth -- a surrender to that feature of human personality
that can cause us to sacrifice our lives in defense of it. Love
conquers cowardice. It shatters hubris and crushes the illusions of
death. It fortifies the soul amid the darkness of the hour; it calls
us to bear witness and to suffer, if necessary, the consequences.

The mindless chatter of today distracts us from the power of
love. Instead, we are mired in the sundry politics of Washington, or
we are content to spew venom at our opponents. Mean-spiritedness
carries the day. But Easter, if I understand King correctly, teaches
us to love and to witness the miracle of the resurrection before the
powers that be, no matter the consequences.

"It says to us," King preached, "that love is the most durable power
in the world" ...

... Too many Christians take comfort in the wrong-headed idea that all
is settled because Jesus rose from the dead. Martin Luther King, Jr's
death suggests otherwise. His was a life given in love and in devotion
to justice. Are we, Christian or not, as committed? To stopping war? 
To ending poverty? To fighting for the most vulnerable among us? Or,
are we content to rest in the illusion that salvation is guaranteed?

Our lives, if we are to be saved, must stand as a testament to that
legacy which, beyond our doing, is inescapable. Cowardice and
complicity must die in us. And we must rise again to "love" a new
world into existence.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/04/04/glaude.easter.mlk/   (Full article)
http://www.AKidsRight.Org/p_martin.htm   (More background)
http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/primarydocuments/Vol6/21Apr1957QuestionsThatEasterAnswers,SermonDeliveredatDexterAvenueBaptistChurch.pdf  (The full text of his sermon, good reading!)

You can also sign the petition at:

                                        John Murtari
Coordinator                            AKidsRight.Org
jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org          Kid's Right to BOTH parents
(315) 944-0999(x-211)            http://www.AKidsRight.Org/

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