Bishop McKnight — Love is central to the message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


The following is a statement from Bishop W. Shawn McKnight on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2023:

The life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a reminder that God has blessed all of us with the power to change the world for the better — and that power is love.

Jesus taught us to love God and to love our neighbor. This two-fold commandment would become foundational to the work of Dr. King.

In a sermon called “Love in Action,” Dr. King preached that, “Jesus eloquently affirmed from the cross a higher law. He knew that the old eye-for-an-eye philosophy would end up leaving everybody blind. He did not seek to overcome evil with evil. He overcame evil with good. Although crucified by hate, He responded with a radical love.”

Through the work of Dr. King, our country was able to overturn unjust laws and discriminatory systems hurting Black Americans. Our progress under his leadership showed us that radical love is an insurmountable force — even in the face of hatred, prejudice and death.

Today, let us remember Dr. King as proof of the power of love. I pray that we are inspired to continue his ministry of Gospel justice in our day.

Together, we can move forward and work to heal the painful divisions still present in our society.

As always, the path toward a better world begins with love.


“Love is the greatest force in the universe. It is the heartbeat of the moral cosmos. He who loves is a participant in the being of God.”

— the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.