Every Day is MLK Day

John LewisThis year I did not use Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as an opportunity for furthering the important work Dr. King began.  Instead, I occupied myself with the task of unpacking boxes as my family settled into a new home.

I did, however, manage to see many familiar quotes attributed to Dr. King on my social media feeds. I also saw a few recommendations that the work these quotes spoke of is a way of life rather than merely the exception to be noted once a year.

John Lewis

John Lewis wrote the most insightful tweet I read:

The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday is a day on, not a day off. It is a day of service to our communities, to our brothers and sisters, and to generations yet unborn so that we all may continue Dr. King’s work of building the beloved community. 

Cornel West

Cornel West authored the most challenging article I read: “American is Spiritually Bankrupt. We Must Fight Back Together.”

According to West, part of our shared response is what he terms a “prophetic fightback” – an effort that consists of

a moral and spiritual awakening that puts a premium on courageous truth telling and exemplary action by individuals and communities.

So What?

I needed to be reminded that by missing out on doing something on a specific day of the year I have not missed out in participating in the ongoing work of creating the beloved community.

I also needed to reconnect with those who are at the forefront of continuing Dr. King’s work, including William Barber II – a man that West called “the most Martin Luther King–like figure in our time.”  Barber’s recent revival of King’s Poor People’s Campaign is a direct link, and much of his earlier work is clearly aligned with King.

I encourage you to spend some time reading some of King’s many powerful, prophetic, and provocative words.  And, I hope your connection with his efforts leads you to adopt a lifestyle that every day is a “day on” until all of Dr. King’s dreams are realized.

Note: In recent years I wrote more traditional posts for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day including MLK: Paul’s Letter to American ChristiansCompleting the Dream, and The Acceptable Year of the Lord.

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