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A Personal Reflection: Remembering Our “World House”

With a few winter holidays behind us and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day coming up on January 20, Reverend Mildred M. Best encourages us to pause and ponder the “universal themes of love, hope, freedom, and peace.” Reverend Best is the Chaplaincy Services Manager in the Department of Chaplaincy Services and Pastoral Education at the University of Virginia Health System.


A Personal Reflection: Remembering Our “World House”

“We have inherited a large house, a great world house in which we have to live together—black and white, Easterner and Westerner, Gentile and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Muslim and Hindu—a family unduly separated in ideas, culture, and interest, who, because we can never again live apart, must learn somehow to live with each other in peace.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.

During this season of holy days and holidays, ponder these words of Martin Luther King, Jr. It is a season and time of pause and reflection. During these days of celebration, we are overwhelmed by the hateful tragedies that have occurred throughout the world including these United States of America.

Pause to remember the lives that have been lost due to mass killings. Remember their families, friends, and loved ones who mourn and grieve, unable to make any sense of it all while asking the ultimate Why question. Join the families of these individuals in a spirit of solidarity and meditation.

It is a time to reflect on our connectedness with our tribe, with persons from our faith tradition, and with our neighbors. Our neighborhood is also larger than our city, state, and country.

As a child, I experienced Martin Luther King, Jr. as one who had a “great heart” as I watched him live on television deliver his “I Have a Dream Speech” during the March on Washington. I remember embracing this vision throughout my adult life because of the universality of his message of love.

Reflect on the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., remembering that he and many of his followers gave their lives in the struggle for the rights of African Americans and others. Remember him as one who cared about the “world house” and the universal themes of love, hope, freedom, and peace.

May you be inspired and encouraged by the love, life and words of Martin Luther King, Jr., and embrace our “world house” in new, creative, and positive action-oriented ways that make a difference in 2020.