Friday, March 21, 2008

Maundy Thursday with Martin Luther King

In a church in the middle of Nashville( a town not renowned for its civil rights) , twenty of us gathered to watch a film on the life of Martin Luther King. It was mostly documentary footage of the struggle for civil rights, interspersed with speeches from Dr King. The sheer brutality of the police and the reactions of the crowds to the non violence of the marchers were shocking to watch and realise that this happened not long ago.
In one of his early speeches he quoted a John Donne poem which speaks of our connectedness to each other as humans. And suddenly it seemed appropriate for Easter Weekend when we celebrate the ultimate humanity of God becoming man and dying a very human death.
We are all connected this weekend wherever we are and however we are. Life is messy but for those feeling alone or lonely this weekend where death becomes hope and darkness light – here is John Donne.

No Man is an Island

No man is an island, entire of itself
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main
if a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were.
Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls
it tolls for thee.

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