Below are a few excerpts from “A Christmas Sermon for Peace” that Martin Luther King gave on Christmas Eve 1967. I find his words as relevant today – 42 years later as the day he delivered them. As we reflect this holiday season on Peace on Earth, his thoughts on how we are all interconnected ring with truth. Living in the U.S. we are isolated from much of the violence, conflict, poverty and injustice that people around the world live with every day. Yet his sermon reminds us that what affects one, affects us all.
PEACE ON EARTH
"This Christmas season finds us a rather bewildered human race. We have neither peace within nor peace without. Everywhere paralyzing fears harrow people by day and haunt them by night. Our world is sick with war; everywhere we turn we see its ominous possibilities. And yet, my friends, the Christmas hope for peace and good will toward all men can no longer be dismissed as a kind of pious dream of some Utopian. If we don't have good will toward men in this world, we will destroy ourselves by the misuse of our own instruments and our own power. Wisdom born of experience should tell us that war is obsolete....
. . .if we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties . . . must transcend our race, our tribe, our class and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective. No individual can live alone; no nation can live alone, and as long as we try, the more we are going to have war in this world. . . We must either learn to live together as brothers or we are all going to perish together as fools . . .
...It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. . .
. . .We aren’t going to have peace on Earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality."
You can listen to a recording of Dr. Martin Luther King, and the entire sermon here: http://newstalgia.crooksandliars.com/node/33630/print
May Peace Prevail on Earth