God of Truth, today we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for his leadership in the civil rights movement.
Some people become leaders by offering easy answers, promising quick rewards, scapegoating outsiders, and telling reassuring lies. Rev. Dr. King did none of that. Following him involved personal risk, long-term struggle, refusing hatred, and telling unwelcome truth.
Tonight I give thanks for the many people who chose to follow Rev. Dr. King. The mothers and fathers and neighbors and elders and students and children and workers and teachers and everybody else, too. Bless them and their legacy of strength and solidarity.
Grant the rest of us a portion of their wisdom and bravery as we choose what leaders we follow. Amen.