On March 31, 1968, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his last Sunday sermon from the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington, also known as the Washington National Cathedral.
Following Reverend King’s assassination on April 4, 1968, a memorial service was held at the same Cathedral later during the week.
Remaining Awake During a Great Revolution is a fiery sermon – with or without the hindsight of knowledge that this sermon was the last Sunday sermon the Reverend King would deliver.
Imagine for a moment the threat Reverend King must have seemed to the white establishment: verse by verse, the Reverend King was teaching God’s word from the same Bible white men were utilizing to justify the inequalities of the 1960’s South; was preaching of God’s justice on behalf of black Americans (in the face of injustices created by the work of white men); and, was quoting scripture which empowered black America to embrace their divine rights (in the face of a political system which much preferred black American be warranted no rights.)
“John Donne caught it years ago and placed it in graphic terms: “No man is an island entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” And he goes on toward the end to say, “Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind; therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” We must see this, believe this, and live by it if we are to remain awake through a great revolution.” ~ The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.