Monday, January 16, 2017

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Mountaintop Speech

As we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today, we remember what an eloquent and powerful orator he was. His speeches tingle the spine, elevate one's thoughts and touch one's heart. While "I Have a Dream" is probably his most famous speech, Dr. King's "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech--delivered the day before he was assassinated--synthesized history, prophecy and a call to action in a striking manner. Dr. King's passionate belief in the power of non-violence to effect social change gave him the faith and courage to state that his people would reach the Promised Land even if his life were cut short. 

Dr. King declared that if he had been blessed with the choice of living at any time in recorded history he would have chosen this very moment:

Strangely enough, I would turn to the Almighty, and say, "If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the twentieth century I will be happy." 
Now that's a strange statement to make, because the world is all messed up. The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land; confusion all around. That's a strange statement. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars. And I see God working in this period of the twentieth century in a way that men, in some strange way, are responding.

Dr. King concluded with this breathtaking statement of his faith and courage:

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

And so I'm happy, tonight.

I'm not worried about anything.

I'm not fearing any man!

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!

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