Black People : MLK: “Conquering Self-Centeredness,” Sermon Delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by skuderjaymes, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

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    August 11, 1957

    I want to make two or three announcements as quickly as possible so that we can move on with our worship service and not stay here too long in the midst of extreme heat. Unfortunately, we do not have an air-conditioned church, so we find ourselves suffering the consequences. And I will try to keep that in mind this morning and make our services as brief as possible.

    You will notice on your bulletin that Deacon [S. D.] Turner, who was a deacon in this church for many, many years, passed this past week. And the funeral will be held tomorrow morning at eleven o’clock at the Ross-Clayton Chapel, the funeral home there, the chapel at the funeral home. Now I’m urging each member to respond by being present at the funeral tomorrow. Especially, I am asking the choir to be there, as many of you as possibly can, and all of the deacons. I would like to ask the deacons to serve as the pallbearers. As you probably know, Brother Turner does not have any relatives. I understand that he has a son but we have no way of getting in touch with him. He hasn’t heard. I remember when I visited him, so often he mentioned the son, but the son had not, he had not heard from his son for more than twenty or thirty years. So that we don’t know how to get in touch with his son. So I had to do the arranging of the funeral. And I want to urge every deacon of this church to be present tomorrow and to serve as pallbearers. I hope you will get that word around to the deacons who are not here this morning. That is, at eleven o’clock tomorrow morning at the chapel of the Ross-Clayton Funeral Home. And as many members as possible, as can come out, we’re expecting you and also the choir. For Brother Turner served here many, many years. Most of you do not know him because he has been ill for about fourteen years. He’s been out at Fraternal Hospital where he passed the other day. So that is probably why you do not know him. But he was an active deacon here until the time that he went into the hospital and has been there ever since.

    The financial statement will be out after the morning worship. You can receive copies. And I would like to say that I noticed several members are behind in their pledges for some reason. I don’t know why that is, but I would like to urge you to catch up in your pledges, for our responsibilities are the same. We have a budget to carry out in the summer months, just as in any other period of the year. And I’m urging you to do that and to bring those pledges up before too long, so that we can face the many responsibilities that we have ahead in our church.

    [Here King continues his announcements and welcomes visitors to the service.]

    Will the ushers come forward now for the morning offering? Let us prepare to give liberally with open hearts and open spirits for the causes ahead. I said just a few minutes ago that many of our members are behind in their pledges for some reason and I hope you will not get too far behind, that you will keep up. Because this is of vital importance, in order to be sure that our budget balances at all times. Let us remember that as the ushers come forward now.

    O God, our Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for life and we thank Thee for health. We thank Thee for the ability to work and to live in this society. Help us to realize that as we make our money that we owe a portion of it to Thee. And help us to give it with open hearts and spirits, realizing that as we give, we give for the ongoing of Thy kingdom here on earth. Amen. [recording interrupted]

    Blessed thou!
    O words with heavenly comfort fraught!
    Whate’er I do, whate’er I do, where’er I be,
    Still ’tis God’s hands that leadeth me!
    He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
    By His own hands He leadeth me.
    His faithful follower, I will be,
    For by His hand He leadeth me.3

    Let us sing stanzas one, two, and three. [congregation sings “He Leadeth Me”]

    I want to continue the series of sermons this morning that I started several weeks ago. The series dealing with problems of personality integration. This morning our subject is: “Conquering Self-Centeredness.” “Conquering Self-Centeredness.” I probably will not have time to do justice to this many-sided subject because of the heat. And I don’t want to preach too long. But for the moments left, I at least want to suggest certain ways to conquer self-centeredness and at least place the subject before you. So that you can go out and add the meat and try, in some way, to make it meaningful and practical in your everyday lives.

    We turn to the New Testament for our text this morning, a very familiar passage, a passage that I read in the morning lesson. It’s found throughout the synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke: “He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it.”4

    An individual has not begun to live until he can rise above the narrow horizons of his particular individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. And this is one of the big problems of life, that so many people never quite get to the point of rising above self. And so they end up the tragic victims of self-centeredness. They end up the victims of distorted and disrupted personality.

    Life has its beginning and its maturity comes into being when an individual rises above self to something greater. Few individuals learn this, and so they go through life merely existing and never living. Now you see signs all along in your everyday life with individuals who are the victims of self-centeredness. They are the people who live an eternal “I.” They do not have the capacity to project the “I” into the thou."5 They do not have the mental equipment for an eternal, dangerous and sometimes costly altruism. They live a life of perpetual egotism. And they are the victims all around of the egocentric predicament. They start out, the minute you talk with them, talking about what they can do, what they have done. They’re the people who will tell you, before you talk with them five minutes, where they have been and who they know. They’re the people who can tell you in a few seconds, how many degrees they have and where they went to school and how much money they have. We meet these people every day. And so this is not a foreign subject. It is not something far off. It is a problem that meets us in everyday life. We meet it in ourselves, we meet in other selves: the problem of self-centeredness.
    -----

    Complete sermon @

    http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/news/article/conquering_self_centeredness/
     
  2. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    OHH DR KING

    OH Dr Martin Luther King

    Gimme a beak Dr

    why must we drink of this cup?

    Sometimes some of us wish we didnt have to by instinct or nature of proclivity as you say

    turn the I into the Thou, or the Me into the We

    or the Individualist into the Collective Concern

    Sometimes we wish we could just live in our own little world and not wake up worrying about the lives and children of a billion Africans across the planet

    Sometimes we wish we were not altruistic empaths,
    seeking night and day for solutions to the hells and traumas we face in every state,
    and try to alert folks how the new Ipod age fascism, from the Tea Party to the Wall street magnates tlo the corporate bigwigs and their GOP minions, once called congressmen,
    try to reverse every doggone thing you achieved,
    in real and tangible actions legislature and programs that wehave benefited from,
    since the coporatocracy had you executed for having the nerve to stand up like a man,
    when so many were happy to sit down

    Sometimes we wish we could enjoy the luxury of the self centeredness you mentioned, and not seek desperatly for those of us who desire to ressurect the GREAT WORK

    that you and Malcolm had risked your lives in creating plans based on your meetings in Africa with Kwame Nkhrumah, on the real imperative for us here to support all efforts towards Pan Africanism,
    and your focus on collective Black economics, and what we here must do to create a safety net for our defence and prosperity in the future


    Sometimes we wish we could just think about the Super Bowl

    Instead of the empty bowl Africans all over the world will be facing,
    while the 2 percents bowl is flowing over

    if we do not follow at least some of the principles that the coalition of effort that you and Malcolm had worked so hard on and both gave your lives for
     
  3. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

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    Well said.
     
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