The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was a Baptist minister, an activist, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and perhaps one of the most recognized faces and names in the civil rights movement in this country.

It is said that his work was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, and his own Christian beliefs.  Nonviolent civil disobedience, in the King movement, was paramount.

Life in the 1950’s and 1960’s is different for many people, then living life in 2018.  And sadly, for many American’s, life is not better, and in many ways, may in fact be worse than the 1950’s and 1960’s.

In the last year, media has reported the sad and horrific news of how racism affects our country.  Systemic racism exists, and is embedded into our culture, our laws, our court rooms, our prisons, and our government.

On Monday, January 15 our country will observe, hopefully with great intent, the Birthday and work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I challenge us white people to really understand the civil rights movement, be aware of how your privilege differs from others, understand how you can be an ally in the civil rights movement, engage in meaningful conversations with others who you may consider the other, stand up for racial injustices and demand equity, and engage your faith community to examine how you can support the civil right movement, and stand up for racial injustice.

The golden rule in most any world religion remains treating others as we ourselves want to be treated.  My prayer, and hope is that each of us will remember Dr. King’s work and be inspired for each of us to drive out the darkness and hate that is in our world.  May peace, love, and compassion be with you, and importantly from you!

I offer this prayer “Living Water, Source of Life, Loving, healing and forgiving God, we gather in the many names used worldwide as people with faith, each with our own struggle, gifts, concerns, and joys.  Today let our ears, hearts, and mind be open to the music, the words, and that which connects each of us.  I invoke the many great principles of Dr. King to be with us not just today, but every day, in and out of uniforms, while on duty and not, when people are watching us, and when they are not.”  Amen

-Chaplain Royal