As we as a community prepare to celebrate the life and work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., under the theme, “The Beloved Community,” I am mindful of the ways in which the Scriptures inspired his life and his work. I am mindful of God’s invitation to each of us to live toward the fullness of the beloved community. I am mindful of God’s call to let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.
In this spirit, I would like to share with you an Affirmation of Faith, Based on the Writings of Dr. King (Presbyterian Church, USA):
“I refuse to believe that we are unable to influence the events which surround us.
I refuse to believe that we are so bound to racism and war, that peace, brotherhood and sisterhood are not possible.
I believe there is an urgent need for people to overcome oppression and violence, without resorting to violence and oppression.
I believe that we need to discover a way to live together in peace, a way which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of this way is love.
I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.
I believe that right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.
I believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.
I believe that what self-centered people have torn down, other-centered people can build up.
By the goodness of God at work within people, I believe that brokenness can be healed. ‘And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together, and everyone will sit under their own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid.’”
This affirmation hangs on my office wall. Perhaps, it can hang on yours as well.
I encourage you to participate in as many of the MLK week events as you can. I encourage you to discern in your own life how you can tear down walls and build one another up. I encourage you to – in your words and in your deeds – work toward the fulfillment of the beloved community today.
God Bless Your Daily Living into Being, God’s Vision for the World --
Rev. James A. Wetzstein and Rev. Charlene M. Rachuy Cox serve as university pastors at Valpo and take turns writing weekly reflections.