Time out: Euology for Martin Luther King

Reverend Abernathy eulogizes his friend. An almost inconceivable moment as the body of Dr. Martin Luther King lay in a coffin at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. At the time it was unavoidable to not feel the loss. However, as the decades passed, the cataclysmic void of history, leadership and moral judgement becomes readily apparent. Trying to speculate on alternate timelines if Dr. King had lived is a fruitless task. And when seen in the larger context of 1968:  to ‘ replace that stain of bloodshed,” said Robert Kennedy, ‘ which has spread across our land with an effort to understand, compassion, and love is a tall order in any generation.

REVEREND RALH DAVID ABERNATHY

EUOLOGY FOR DR. KING

APRIL 9, 1968

Dr. Abernathy

CALLING UP ON GOD, JESUS, WITH THEE, MY. SPIRIT. AND HE KNEELED DOWN, LORD LAY NOT THIS SIN TO THEIR CHARGE. IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD IS THE DEPTH OF HIS FAITH. ONCE FOR EVERY MAN AND NATION COMES THE MOMENT TO DECIDE.

REV. ABERNATHY:

SOME GREAT CAUSE, SOME GREAT DECISION OFFERED EACH BLOOM OR BLIGHT. AND THE CHARGE GOES BY FOREVER. THEN DECIDE WHAT TRUTH IS NOBLE… THEN IT IS THE BRAVE MEN CHOOSES WHILE THE COWARD STANDS ASIDE. ON THE MULTITUDE MAKE A RICHER OF THE FAITH THAT THEY ONCE DENIED. THOUGH THE CALLS OF EVIL, YET THE TRUTH FEAR THOU NOT, FOR I AM WITH THEE. BE NOT DISMAYED FOR I AM GOD. I WILL HELP THEE, YAY I WILL PROTEST WITH THE WITH THE RIGHT HAND OF MY RIGHTEOUSNESS.

 I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIGHT, SAITH THE LORD. MAY WE BE SEATED. WE GATHER HERE THIS MORNING ON ONE OF THE DARKEST HOURS IN THE HISTORY OF THE BLACK PEOPLE OF THIS NATION, AND IN ONE OF THE DARKEST HOURS IN THE HISTORY OF ALL MANKIND. FOR MARTIN LUTHER KING, A 20TH CENTURY PROPHET WHO WAS IMBUED WITH THE PHILOSOPHY OF NONVIOLENCE. SENT FORTH INTO THE WILDERNESS OF THIS SICK NATION OF OURS, TO LIFE HIS VOICE AND CRY OUT TO THE PHARAOHS TO LET MY PEOPLE GO. WAS ASSASSINATED ON LAST THURSDAY EVENING, IN MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE. WE COME TO THE CHURCH WHERE HE WAS DEDICATED AND BLESSED AS A BABY, WHERE HE WAS BAPTIZED AS A CHRISTIAN, WHERE HE WAS ORDAINED TO SPREAD GOOD TIDINGS OF JOY TO ALL HIS PEOPLE, THE CHURCH WHERE HIS FATHER HAD PASTORED FOR MANY YEARS IN SUCH A MARVELOUS WAY FOR EIGHT YEARS. LET US CONTINUE THIS SERVICE NOW WITH A CHOIR OF EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH, THE CHOIR WHICH HE LOVED SO DEARLY, OF 70’S AT BAPTIST CHURCH. SENDING ONE OF MARTIN LUTHER KING’S FAVORITE HYMNS, WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS.

WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS ON WHICH THE PRINCE OF GLORY DIED.

MY RICHEST GAIN I COUNT BUT LOSS AND POUR CONTEMPT ON ALL MY PRIDE

SEE FROM HIS HEAD, HIS HANDS, HIS FEET.

SO MUCH SORROW AND LOVE FLOW MINGLED DOWN DID E’ER SUCH LOVE AND SORROW MEET OR THORNS COMPOSE SO RICH, SO RICH A CROWNWERE THIS WHOLE REALM OF NATURE MINE THAT WERE A PRESENT FAR TOO SMALL

LOVE SO AMAZING

SO DIVINE DEMANDS MY SOUL

 MY LIFE, MY ALL

REVEREND ABERNATHY:

THAT IS BOW OUR HEADS IN A MOMENT OF SOLEMN UTTERANCE. ETERNAL AND EVERLASTING GOD OUR FATHER, THOU WHO ART THE GIVER AND SUSTAINER OF LIFE, FROM WHOM ALL THINGS HAVE COME, AND TO WHOM ALL THINGS SHALL RETURN, WE BESEECH THY COMFORTING PRESENCE IN THIS HOUR. THIS HOUR OF DEEPEST AGREEMENT. FOR OUR HEARTS — DEEPEST BEREAVEMENT. FOR OUR HEARTS ARE HEAVILY LADEN WITH SORROW AND REMORSE AT THE REMOVAL OF ONE OF HISTORY’S TRUE’S REPRESENTATIVES OF THY WILL AND PURPOSE FOR MANKIND. WHILE WE PRAY FOR COMFORT, WE PRAY FOR WISDOM TO GUIDE OUR THOUGHTS TO LIGHT AT THIS HOUR. WE HOLD GOD IN OUR UNLIMITED DIVISION — GOD IN — WE CANNOT BEGIN TO COMPREHEND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS TRAGIC OCCURRENCE. WE KNOW HE HAS NO FEAR OF DEATH. HELP US TO FIND CONSOLATION IN THE FACT THAT HIS LIFE WAS NOT — WAS A GIFT GIVEN TO US AT THIS CRUCIAL JUNCTURE IN HISTORY OUT OF THE GREATNESS OF THY BEING. — OUT OF THE GRACIOUSNESS OF THY BEING. WE HAVE NO REAL PLANS UPON IT. IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, HE CAME , AND IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, HE HAS GONE. HE KNEW WHERE HE CAME FROM, AND HE KNEW WHERE HE WAS GOING. AND SO, AS WE ABIDE IN THIS KNOWLEDGE, OUR GRATITUDE WILL A BASE OUR SORROW. HE FOR THE MOMENT WILL NOT TRULY DIE, BUT LIVE FOR ETERNITY AND DEDICATE HIS LIFE TO THOSE ULTIMATE PRINCIPLES OF TRUTH, JUSTICE, AND LOVE, AS THIS MAN HAS DONE, WILL NEVER DIE. INSPIRE US TO ACCEPT THE IMPERATIVE THAT IS LIFE SO FULLY EXEMPLIFIED, THAT WE MUST NOT JUDGE THE WORTH OF OUR LIVES BY THEIR PHYSICAL LONGEVITY, BUT THE QUALITY OF THEIR SERVICE TO MANKIND. HE HAS SHOWN US HOW TO LIVE, O GOD. HE HAS SHOWN US HOW TO LOVE, YET THE MANNER OF HIS TEACHING AND THE MANNER OF HIS BEING WAS BOTH STRANGE AND UNFAMILIAR IN OUR WORLD. A WORLD ABOUND IN WAR, HATRED, AND RACISM. A WORLD THAT EXALTS THE WICKED AND CRUCIFIED THE RIGHTEOUS. A WORLD WHERE CONDEMNATION IS FAMILIAR, WHERE A WORLD OF KINDNESS IS STRANGE. SO CAME FORTH A PECULIAR MAN. HE TAUGHT A PECULIAR TEACHING. SO HE WAS NOT OF THIS WORLD. THE CONGRESS AND PRESIDENT OF THIS NATION, WHO HAVE BEEN SO GRACIOUS IN THEIR TRIBUTE, WILL BE GUIDED BY THEIR SERVANT, AND THE LEGISLATIVE POWERS DETERMINED TO PASS WITHOUT COMPROMISE OR RESERVATION, LEGISLATION SO VITALLY NEEDED TO PRESERVE THE TRANQUILITY AND SOCIAL DISRUPTION. GRANT, O LOVER OF PEACE, THAT WE WILL HAVE AN EFFECTIVE SETTLEMENT IN VIETNAM, TO END THE CRIMINAL ATROCITIES COMMITTED IN THE NAME OF DEMOCRACIES. TUNE OUR HEARTS, O GOD, TO HEAR AND RESPOND TO THE ECHOES OF GRANT, O LOVER OF PEACE, THAT WE WILL HAVE AN EFFECTIVE SETTLEMENT IN VIETNAM, TO END THE CRIMINAL ATROCITIES COMMITTED IN THE NAME OF DEMOCRACIES. TUNE OUR HEARTS, O GOD, TO HEAR AND RESPOND TO THE ECHOES OF THIS UNDYING VOICE OF THE AGES, A VOICE OF LOVE AND RECONCILIATION, A VOICE OF HOPE AND CONFIDENCE IN THE FUTURE. GRANT THAT IN RESPONSE TO HIS SACRIFICIAL DEATH, WE WILL WORK TOWARD THAT DAY WHEN THE LONG AND TRAGIC TUNE OF MAN’S INHUMANITY TO MAN WILL RESOLVE INTO A CHORUS OF PEACE AND BROTHERHOOD. THEN LOVE WILL TEAR OUT THE VEIL OF THE FIRES OF ANGER, AND FROM

THE ASHES GROW A TREE OF PEACE.

THIS IS OUR PRAYER. GRANT US THY BENEDICTION.

Fitton Books by Robert P. Fitton

American Injustice-Volume 1
American Injustice-Volume 2

American Injustice-volume 1 and 2 available spring 2021.

Published by fitton_on_the_air_podcast

Cape Cod author Robert P. Fitton graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, majoring in American Studies, with emphasis on American History. In college he added science fiction writing and American literature courses. Post college Fitton expanded his writing craft by studying with science fiction and mystery authors as well as screenwriters. Fitton developed a strong but thoughtful voice, many times humorous, buttressed by a direct style and influenced by Hitchcock’s mystery thrillers, Star Trek and the Twilight Zone. His time travel novels are spun from his love of history and sense of adventure.

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