January 15, 2019 would have been Martin Luther King’s 90th birthday. It seems strange to think of such an icon as an old man, especially because he was killed before he was 40 years old. The irony is that his martyrdom made his legacy even more indelible than if he had lived a long life. What we missed was what else he could have accomplished, which I am sure is a great loss.
There is a song in the Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing hymnal that we as a congregation haven’t sung (to my recollection) about Dr. King. It is number 46 and I encourage you to look at all the words, but here is a sample:
Holy God, you raise up prophets; Praise and honor do we sing,
For your faithful, humble servant, Doctor Martin Luther King.
Blessed Martin, pastor, prophet you the mountaintop did see;
Blessed Martin, holy martyr: Pray that we may all be free.
Champion of oppressed humanity Suff’ring throughout all the world;
He offered pride and dignity Let Christ’s banner be unfurled! Refrain
Words: Harold T. Lewis (b. 1947)
Music: Martin’s Song by Carl Haywood (b. 1949), from Songs of Praise