The Lord's Prayer - The Seventh Petition:
And deliver us from evil.
What does this mean? or What is this?
We ask in this prayer, as in a summary, that our Father in heaven may deliver us from all kinds of evil - affecting body or soul, property or reputation - and at last, when our final hour comes, may grant us a blessed end and take us by grace from this valley of tears to himself in heaven.
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.
- Martin Luther King Jr., "I Have a Dream"
Sitting For Justice:
African American spirituals gave voice to the experience of being enslaved and longing for freedom. In a time when they were given no voice or power, people sang their woes in the heat of the cotton fields.
Years later, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of a new day and fought for civil rights. He joined forces with the seamstress Rosa Parks when she refused to surrender her seat of a bus. They believed that all men and women are created equal. From them we learn that we condone evil when we don't question injustice. There are times when we need to take a seat for justice and times when we need to take a stand and speak.
Today we continue to deal with the results of the evil institution of slavery. Its legacy of racism affects all of us. We ask for the courage and the wisdom to combat the forces that would dehumanize anyone. We pray for a more just world where all live in dignity.
O Lord, with Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., empower me to sit for justice and speak boldly agains evil. Amen.