Sunday, January 19, 2014


Some of us are old enough to remember
       the balcony in Memphis,
       the sanitation workers' strike,
       the shot that broke flesh,
       the loss of Martin,
              and then the mule-drawn wagon,
                             and the funeral,
              and the riots, the violence, the fear,
                              and the failure.

All of us know the crowd in D.C.
       and "I Have a Dream,"
       the Birmingham jail,
       the broad stream of violence,
          and his steadfast nonviolence
                 in Albany and
                 in Skokie and
                 in Selma.

All of us kknow his awesome, daring speech,
     his bravery, his hope, and his generative word.
And we know the relentlessness of our government
      in pursuit of him
      and the endless surveillance and harassment
                                 of this drum major for justice.

At this distance, we have little access
    to how it was then concerning ambiguity
                           and feaar
                           and reluctance
                           and violence
                           and injustice.

We do not doubt that you have persisted
                 even beyond Martin's passion,
                 even beyond Martin's brilliance,
                 even beyond Martin's fidelity, and
                                           his loss.

We do not doubt that through him and beyond him,
     you, holy God of the prophets,
                  are still pledged to justice and
                                                 peace and
                                                  liberty for all.

We remember Martin in gratitude.....
                        and chagrin,
And we pledge, amid our stressed ambiguities,
                  to dream as he did,
                  to walk the walk,
                  and to talk the talk of your coming kingdom.

We pledge, so sure thaat your truth
      will not stop its march
          until your will is done on earth as it is in heaven.

Prayers for  Privileged People, Walter Brueggemann

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