Today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday; he would be 83.  Our pastor’s reflection this morning on his reading of Becoming King by Troy Jackson made me want to learn more about King’s early life and how his ministry evolved to such prophetic activism.  As is true with so many heroes, it’s useful for us mortals to recall that King didn’t spring up fully formed, but stumbled through uncertainty and confusion just like everybody else.  A deep, trusting faith helped him navigate the path and is perhaps what ultimately set him apart.  The following prayer by the Anti-Racism Team of the Episcopal Diocese of Alaska was available on cards after mass, and I repeat it here with thanks to the parish’s Dismantling Racism Team for providing it.

Prayer to Dismantle Racism

God, Creator of all things,
we come broken with a heart
that has been torn
like Jesus on the cross,
the cross that draws together
your children of many colors.

Your know our suffering.
We ask in Jesus’ name
that you heal your people.

Where there has been unearned advantage
because of the color of our skin,
give us courage to repent
and to fight the injustice and sin of racism.

Holy God, who created all colors of people,
allow us to honor your light in every soul.

Help us to see you in one another,
to hear your voice in all people,
and to work to end racism
in our church, our communties,
and the world.  Amen.

Photo by Ron Cogswell via Flickr under a Creative Commons license.