O God, our Heavenly Father,
we thank thee for this golden privilege to worship thee,
the only true God of the universe.
We come to thee today, grateful that thou has kept us
through the long night of the past
and ushered us into the challenge of the present
and the bright hope of the future.
We are mindful, O God, that man cannot save himself,
for man is not the measure of things
and humanity is not God.
Bound by our chains of sin and finiteness,
we know we need a Savior.
We thank thee, O God, for the spiritual nature of man.
We are in nature but we live above nature.
Help us never to let anybody or any condition
pull us so low as to cause us to hate.
Give us strength to love our enemies
and to do good to those
who despitefully use us and persecute us.
We thank thee for thy Church, founded upon thy Word,
that challenges us to do more than sing and pray,
but go out and work as though the very answer to our prayers
depended on us and not on thee.
Then, finally, help us to realize that man was created
to shine like stars and live on through all eternity.
Keep us, we pray, in perfect peace,
help us to walk together, pray together, sing together,
and live together until that day when all God’s children,
Black, White, Red, and Yellow
will rejoice in one common band of humanity
in the kingdom of our Lord and of our God, we pray.
Martin Luther King, Jr., 1929 – 1968, American pastor and civil rights leader
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom,
and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—
they will be blessed in what they do.