This post was Jim Wallis' contribution when invited to write a guest post on the blog for USA Service, a campaign to encourage national service in observance of Martin Luther King Day. In conjunction, Sojourners has created a special site at www.sojo.net/mlk to encourage personal, community, and national commitment to change.
Faith is believing in spite of the evidence and then watching the evidence change.
On the third Monday of January, our country sets aside a day in remembrance of the life and the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. To remember King is to act like him. The change that King led is not contained within museums, monuments, or mausoleums, but lives vibrantly on in the people of social movements -- people who believe that, step by step, a divided country can be united and broken spirits can be uplifted.
Sojourners is the country's leading faith-based advocacy organization that reaches, connects, and mobilizes people of faith from diverse backgrounds. We recognize that the challenges of the economy, the environment, and threats to life and peace across the world look like mountains before us. This is why we are rooted in faith, because faith is in the mountain moving business.
With the great challenges before us, we know that moving mountains takes more than just one day of service. We must remember the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway.
The call to transform our personal and family lives, build up our own communities, and change this country on the really big issues is before each of us now. This might seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Our site and USAservice.org are dedicated to providing resources and connections for people of faith and conscience across the country who are ready to believe in spite of the evidence and then watch the evidence change.
This is a day when Americans will be "Good Samaritans" in thousands of communities across the country, volunteering in service projects of all kinds. I invite you to make a commitment to hope and change -- not just for one day, but for a movement, for a lifetime.