I have a dream that one day Covenant will pray for the unity of this nation. I have a dream that Covenant will continue to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I have a dream that Covenant will be the beacon of hope and freedom and justice on Lookout Mountain that Dr. King spoke of.
MLK Day was an incredible experience. The sunrise service at Rock City sent chills down my spine as I heard Dr. King’s voice resound over the assembled students; asking that freedom be proclaimed from our humble hill. The panel enlightened me and gave answers to many questions that I hadn’t asked because I was afraid to voice them. Being able to talk freely and openly about issues such as racism here on campus was enriching. The service project helped us to re-orient ourselves and remember that we as Christians are called to serve. And finally, the Jazz celebration capped off the entire day with a wonderfully relaxed evening listening to excerpts from Dr. King’s life. All four of those events were inspiring and beneficial in helping to celebrate and commemorate a man that has reshaped American culture.
But as we celebrated, how many of us forgot to pray? It was supposed to be a day of prayer after all. After the sunrise service, how many of us prayed for the injustices still happening in this country? In the midst of celebrating, we as a school need to remember that there are still issues that this country faces, and that most of these issues are far beyond our control. In his speech, Dr. King spoke of progressive change and hoped for a better future. He didn’t speak of a country that had everything right, but was longing for a day in which things were. As we look at our culture today, we can still see great scars and open wounds that have not healed. The only way to resolve these great wounds is to pray to an Almighty God. He is the only one who has complete control and can heal the divisions in this country.
Yet, on a day in which there was much opportunity to express our concern to our Father in Heaven about the issues that this country is facing, there wasn’t much opportunity to pray. Dr. King spoke of freedom resounding from Lookout Mountain, and the only freedom that we as Christians are able to proclaim is freedom through Christ. How are we able to make lasting change and to establish an era of freedom if we don’t verbally ask God for it? We need to continually pray for freedom, especially for those that frequently encounter injustice. On a day in which we are seeking to stitch up the wounds of this country, shouldn’t it be through prayer? As I conversed with many of my friends and other students about their thoughts about Day of Prayer and Martin Luther King Day being combined, I heard many negative reviews about how each should have its own day. I agree with some of their thoughts and fully support that MLK day should have a special day.
However, I believe that we at Covenant are able to make lasting change through prayer. If we do not orient ourselves back to God through prayer, there will never be any lasting freedom. I believe that MLK Day should be a day of prayer especially focusing on the injustices that are currently happening and that the wounds may be healed. Without our Father, these issues will persist and tear this country apart.