Martin Luther King Jr. Day was celebrated virtually by Allen Memorial United Methodist Church on Monday.
Greater Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Pastor Chris Eady delivered the message while the service streamed virtually through the Athens Area Ministerial Association Facebook page.
“As a Baptist preacher, I continue to find inspiration in Dr. King who reminded us that the Gospel and social justice aren’t exclusive, that they are one and the same,” Eady said. “You cannot stand and proclaim the goodness of God and then treat His people unfairly and unjustly. In the midst of a time when our nation is so full and so divided, filled with so much uncertainty, we can hear the voice of Martin Luther King Jr. reminding us of the call of God, through Him upon us on our nation for a time like this.”
Eady transitioned into verses of the Bible, informing viewers of passages from when Jesus ascended to heaven.
“They are wondering why He is leaving us now, after everything that we had been through, this is not what we had prayed for ... How has the One that we have put all of our faith in decided to leave us now,” asked Eady. “They are staring into the sky as though all of their hope is gone, as though they didn’t have anything else to live for not realizing they were about to be given the greatest opportunity to pave the way for the birth and growth of the church. So today we pause to honor the ones who stopped looking and started doing things that opened the door that many of us have walked through and we stop to say thank you Jesus for the price that was paid by those who sacrificed and laid down their lives that we might walk through some of those open doors that have been closed for a very long time.”
Eady described it as a shame that a lot of people have taken things for granted without considering the origins of things.
“I just thank God for women because while the men were somewhere looking, there were women … and Luke reminds us that they went up into the upper room with the men. These were the sisters that, when Christ died and was buried in His tomb ... These were the sisters that came out to find out what was going on,” he expressed. “They were the ones who went down into that tomb, they were the ones who encountered the angels that morning, they are the ones who found out first that Christ had risen.”
He expressed his thoughts that women deserve the same privileges as men in the positions they can acquire, such as pastoring a church or leading the country.
He transitioned once again onto the topic of King and how he fought for equality.
“Dr. King had a vision of reconstructing America, dismantling racism, social injustice and inequality,” he expressed. “He said timid supplication for justice will never solve our problems. He noticed the urgency of stop looking and start doing.”
He also added his belief that silence is betrayal.
“You can’t sit in silence while racism, militarism, capitalism, eat away at the very fabric of our country in which we live,” he expressed. “If Dr. King still lived today he would be asking, where are the voices?”
He believes that people who do not speak out to things that they know are wrong are part of the problem.
“My brothers and sisters, kings, they come and go, but our God reigns forever,” Eady expressed. “We can’t get involved and do the wrong thing, we must get involved and make a difference because we serve a God who sits high and looks low ... Stop looking, my brothers and sisters, and start doing. Amen.”