2012-01-17 / Church

Today’s Meditation

From The Upper Room The World’s Most Widely Read Daily Devotional Guide

Prophetic Words

Read Matthew 10:38-48

Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!

Amos 5:24 (NIV)

In April,1963, I was a college freshman in Birmingham, Alabama, at the time Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was jailed there for his work to win civil rights for African-Americans. I remember riots and persons being arrested for throwing bricks at passing cars. We were confined to campus because of widespread fear.

I had grown up in a military family, moving about every two years and living outside of the United States for three years. Before moving to Birmingham, I had never lived in a segregated environment, and I had no experience with being afraid of someone of a different color of skin or a different culture.

This year, remembering Birmingham, I chose to celebrate Martin Luther King Day by listening to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech of August 1963. I was overwhelmed by his powerful words and by his courage. Within a few days, I had the opportunity to read again his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Looking at how people’s lives and our country have changed because of Dr. King’s actions, I read it now with deeper understanding of the prophetic words he voiced.

I pray that I can live what Dr. King taught us. I pray that I will always be quick to speak words that challenge injustice and quick to love and encourage my neighbors — whatever their culture or color of skin.

Joan Floyd

(Tennessee, USA)

Thought for the Day: Listen to or read Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech “I Have a Dream.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, give us strength to embody your love for all persons and courage to bring your justice. Amen.

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