This year, the annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and witness has ironic timing. We are a country facing a serious economic crisis that has many of us worried about our jobs, our retirement, the decline in public services, the impact on the poor, and the list goes on.
At the same time, the next day we will celebrate the inauguration of the first black president: Barack Obama. In this recent election, many of worked for this moment with the belief that our faith and our witness should not be easily checked at the door of gerrymandered elections or specious claims of weapons of mass destruction—all part of an evil swill of debt in the trillions, an economic perfect storm, and domestic programs like education, health care, reproductive health, and welfare looking more like the bobblehead dolls of carnage.
As I anticipate these two days, and what I would like to carry with me in the days that follow, is that we recognize that we are being called to be the leaders who will change our world beginning yesterday, beginning now.
We no longer have the focus of the civil rights movement in our hands; we no longer have buffoons like Bull Connor whose behavior was so obvious that all God’s children could see he wasn’t right; and we no longer have the Martins and Malcolms and Ellas and Fanny Lous to lead us.
We are all God’s got. And we have the ability to shake the foundations by living our beliefs as individuals and as communities.