Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Remembering King, part 4

This is number four in a series marking the martyrdom of Revd Dr Martin Luther King Jnr, the 40th anniversary of which falls this coming Friday, April 4th.

The struggle for equality in Alabama continued and on March 25th 1965 a great march from Selma to Montgomery was organised.

Speaking to the crowd at the end of the march King addresses the question of “How long?” that hung in the air. Today’s quotation comes from that speech, and as I read it I have in mind the struggle to end extreme poverty, as well as injustices like Darfur, Palestine, Guantanamo Bay and some of our own detention policies.

I know you are asking today, “How long will it take?” I come to say to you this afternoon however difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long, because truth pressed to earth will rise again.

How long? Not long, because no lie can live forever.
How long? Not long, because you still reap what you sow.
How long? Not long, because the arm of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

How long? Not long, because mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. He has loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword. His truth is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpets that shall never call retreat. He is lifting up the hearts of men before His judgement seat. Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him. Be jubilant, my feet. Our God is marching on.

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