Tomorrow is today . . . now let us begin


Martin Luther King Jr in the march from Selma to Montgomery

Photograph by Matt Herron / AP Images

Martin Luther King Jr., “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” speech at Riverside Church in New York City, April 4, 1967.


The couple of lines I have bolded stood out to me personally today.


"I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why
I am speaking against the war.
Could it be that they do not know
that the Good News was meant for all men –
for communist and capitalist,
for their children and ours,
for black and for white,
for revolutionary and conservative?
Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the one
who loved his enemies so fully
that he died for them?…

We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless,
for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy,
for no document from human hands
can make these humans any less our brothers . . .


We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today.
We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.

In this unfolding conundrum of life and history
there is such a thing as being too late….
There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records
our vigilance or our neglect….

Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves
to the long and bitter – but beautiful – struggle for a new world.
This is the calling of the sons of God,
and our brothers wait eagerly for our response. 

Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them
the struggle is too hard?
Will our message be that the forces of American life
militate against their arrival as full men,
and we send our deepest regrets?
Or will there be another message,
of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings,
of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost?


Source: Martin Luther King Jr., “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” speech at Riverside Church in New York City, April 4, 1967.

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