On the night before his assassination, Martin Luther King said in a speech in Memphis, “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop…And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy tonight….Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
Those words still resonate today and always will. And we honor the man who spoke them on January 18 – Martin Luther King Day.
The history of this country has been marked by the courage and brilliance of many brave men and women yearning for and achieving the right to be free.
In the 21st century, the fight for freedom continues, seen here in the defense of individual rights and the struggle for recognition that all lives matter. But the need for freedom is broader than that. People all over the world may feel enslaved by things like drug trafficking or gang rivalry in their neighborhoods, an addiction, or disease. But this need not be.
Today I am also thinking of another American, who like King, had a great love for humanity. She recognized that everyone had the right to mental and physical health. Religious pioneer Mary Baker Eddy led a protest against the injustice of suffering from sickness and from enslavement to sin.
From her research of the Bible and her practice of Christian healing, she found that as we learn more of the omnipotence of God – in other words, ascend in our understanding of divine Love’s supreme power, we gain the freedom of conviction that our health and innocence are God-given. Fear, including the fear of disease or any evil, diminishes. This power of God to unite and save humanity is the mountaintop King and Eddy found in the life and teachings of Jesus. Eddy wrote in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Mortals will someday assert their freedom in the name of Almighty God.”
We all have a spiritual identity characterized by innate God-given qualities – such as resilience, love, wisdom, strength, and even health. As we continue learning more about this divine Love and its power in our lives, we can find the mountaintop of freedom.