What would be the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. if he had not (in my opinion) been turned into an icon, a brand. A large majority of people, I believe and it brings me great sorrow to say associate King with a brand or as a celebrity.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a son; husband; father; friend to many; a Baptist minister; a renowned civil rights leader; a Noble Peace prize winner, a peacemaker of broad scope and influence. He was many other things to many other people as well, but the one I hear talked about the least is that he was a child of God, a disciple of Jesus Christ, created in the image of God the Father Almighty, that he might bear witness with that image and likeness to a world that desperately needed to hear God’s message of peace that was for all those who were created in that same image of God that he himself bore.
I know King has impacted many lives including my own, but I often ponder, how much more impact he would have had, if his legacy were not perceived as a brand – King’s Peace- we could call it, that is all I hear talked about this time of year, the person of MLK, the peace that he preached about spoke and lived, his brand lives on another year for in due time probably over the next few days, we will put his person and his peace back on the shelf until this same time next year.
We wonder or question as to the validity of King’s message for today’s generation:
Can and will it endure?
Is it still possible today to have the peace that King spoke of, lived out and died for?
Why are so many still in poverty?
Why do so many young black men still end up in prison?
Why in the name of peace are innocent children around the world being killed?
The Martin Luther King Jr. that I have seen in my studies is not the icon or celebrity that he seems to be more remembered for or as. The Martin Luther King Jr. that I have found;, is one who had chosen to bear with witness with; even to the point of sacrificing his own life, as one who was created in the image of God and took up the likeness of Christ as a disciple of Christ. For him while his main platform may have been as a prophetic witness for his race, it rose high above those barriers which man and not God Almighty had put into place.
He spoke of peace and equality for all people everywhere. May his mantle be picked up again as we march forward into this next generation, may we carry it with honor and dignity, as fellow image bearers of our Almighty God.
So don’t put Martin Luther King Jr. back on your shelf, for that is what you do with idols and images made with the hands of man.
If you believe in the work of King, then you believe in the work of the one he followed, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior; that is the work of joining God through Christ in the work of restoring and reconciling all things to himself.
We have made Martin Luther King Jr. into the wrong type of Icon/Eikon
1.) image of holy person: a holy picture, carving, or statue of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, or a saint, especially an oil painting on a wooden panel …
2.) somebody famous for something: somebody or something widely and uncritically admired, especially somebody or something symbolizing a movement or field of activity
3.) picture on computer screen: a small image on a computer screen that represents something such as a program or device, that is activated by a mouse click
When we should have concentrated more on:
Eikon: an image, figure, likeness
- an image of the things (the heavenly things)
- used of the moral likeness of renewed men to God
- the image of the Son of God, into which true Christians are transformed, is likeness not only to the heavenly body, but also to the most holy and blessed state of mind, which Christ possesses
- the image of one
- one in whom the likeness of any one is seen
- applied to man on account of his power of command
- to Christ on account of his divine nature and absolute moral excellence
To God be the glory in all things, may all praise and glory forever and always be ascribed to Him.
Seeking, working and praying for peace in the place where God has sent us.
Community is the bridge to our children’s future.