I’ve been reflecting on the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I had to give the invocation at our annual “Slide Rule Dinner Dance”, and chose to begin with a couple of excerpts from Dr. King’s speeches. Many of them still have great relevance today, and the one that struck me most profoundly is the following:
Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor in America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours.
Martin Luther King, Jr., The Trumpet of Conscience, 1967.
Just substitute “Iraq” for “Vietnam”, and you see what I mean? Anyway, thinking about that day 40 years ago, made me think I have some small idea of what the disciples on the road to Emmaus were feeling before they recognized Jesus walking with them.