Though today is Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday, the church reserves his commemoration for April 4th, conforming with the practice they do with all martyrs by remembering him on the day of his death.
Nevertheless, it is certainly appropriate to honor him today (as well as on the civic holiday next Monday).
To do that, I’ll share my favorite quote from King, one that doesn’t get a lot of circulation, though you may have heard it before. It’s from “The Drum Major’s Instinct.”
“If you want to be important–wonderful. If you want to be recognized–wonderful. If you want to be great–wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That’s your new definition of greatness. And this morning, the thing that I like about it…by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great.
Because everybody can serve.
You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve, you don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.
You only need a heart full of grace.
As soul generated by love.
And you can be that servant.”
-painting by Mathieu Laca