The evidence is very strong in today’s society that now is the time to stand for what is humane, right, and just. It is also time to recognize that we are bound together in this world with the potential to create a society of goodness and hope.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. acknowledged the importance of a just society abounding with fairness and basic respect for all people. In his theology and methodology, he embraced a commitment to create a glimpse of the Kingdom of God by stressing the beauty of the “Beloved Community”, where all human and natural life is deemed sacred and worthy of respect and support. He often preached about a single garment of destiny expressing his global vision of justice. On December 11, 1960, in a sermon entitled “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life”, Dr. King expounds on this vision:
I am absolutely convinced that God is not interested merely in the freedom of black men and brown men and yellow men. But God is interested in the freedom of the whole human race, the creation of a society where all men will live together as brothers and every man will respect the dignity and worth of all human personality.
What began as a revolutionary movement in the 1960s to acquire civil rights for millions of African Americans must now be retrieved as a relevant attitude and as a critical way of being compassionately engaged in the twenty-first century. We are now living in a moment of destiny as we stand at a crossroads in which we must pragmatically answer the question raised by this prophet to the nation: “Will we live together as sisters and brothers or be destroyed by hate, evil, violence and lies?” Now is the time to act, now is the time to unite, and now is the time to speak words of peace and power.
As we grow and come to see the oneness of mankind and the geographical oneness of the world, made possible by man’s scientific and technological ingenuity, more and more we are going to have to try to see our oneness in terms of brotherhood. This does not mean that everyone has to agree at every point. There can be a world government where diversity can exist and this would lessen many tensions that we face today, and it would also enable everybody to understand that we are clothed in a single garment of destiny, and whatever affects one nation directly in the world, indirectly affects all.
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., November 5, 1964, Redbook Magazine
It is time, it is your time, it is our time to stand together and embrace our divine destiny for a more compassionate and beloved community.
Dumas A. Harshaw, Jr., Ph.D.
Triangle Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee Board Chair
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church