On Monday we will celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. His actual birthday is January 15, 1929. Below are excerpts from the address he gave at the baccalaureate service at Wesleyan University on June 7, 1964.
“And may I say my friends that we must continue to believe that in spite of the difficulties of the wilderness, we can get to the Promised Land. I know that there are those pessimistic voices saying that we will never get to the Promised Land of peace and brotherhood and justice. They are saying that we are forever confined to nagging self-defeating wilderness experiences. But I still believe that we have the resources to move on through the difficulties of the present hour toward a great and noble Promised Land which will bring peace and joy, and harmony and brotherhood to our nation and the nations of the world. We can live with this faith. I know that before we get there, there will be those moments that we will go almost to the brink of despair…
“We can move through the darkness of the hour to the brightness of a new day. I have faith in this, and I believe in this because I believe that somehow the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice…
“With this faith, we can move on toward the brighter day, with this faith we can work with determination until we see right here a city which has foundations whose builder and maker is the almighty God. This is our noble challenge and this our powerful opportunity.
“May we pray:
“Eternal God, Our Father, we thank thee for the opportunities of life. We thank thee for the challenges of this hour. Help us to move from all of those mountains that stand in the way of progress, that stand in the way of our stride into freedom. Now, O God, help us to go out with determination to build a warless world, and to make for a better distribution of wealth, and to make right here for a brotherhood that transcends race or color. In the name and spirit of Jesus, we pray. Amen.”
Together, we can bring Christ's word and work to the world.