1/17/21 The Second Sunday after the Epiphany: Commemoration of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jesus said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” Jn.1.51

In Epiphany, the season of manifestation, we celebrate the scenes from Jesus’ life which show to us and to the world the glory of God which brings peace, forgiveness, and hope.  And today Jesus speaks of the ladder of God – the passage, the path, the way where God’s messengers bring God’s revelation.  In doing this Jesus alludes to himself as the point where heaven and earth meet, where creator and creation are reconciled, God is fully made manifest.  The outward and visible signs of the sacraments are ladderlike in their inward and spiritual graces which join us to God and one another.  And a reminder of our call to echo Phillip’s invitation to “Come and see” Jesus.   We celebrate today the life of the great Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. whose life was illuminated by God’s grace and power as he poured out his life in the pursuit of racial justice and equity. Refusing to bow before the broken governmental powers, he also refused to bow to all too easy temptation to fight the enemy on its own terms.  In his actions and some of his many words, here he echoes his Savior, who died on the ladder of the cross, opening the way of paradise to the thief and all others who turn to Him:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Almighty God, by the hand of Moses your servant you led your people out of slavery, and made them free at last: Grant that your church, following the example of your prophet Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of your love, and may strive to secure for all your children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.