A Gift of Love
A Gift of Love
Sermons from Strength to Love and Other Preachings
Beacon Press, Paperback, 9780807000632, 200pp.
Publication Date: November 27, 2012
As Dr. King prepared for the Birmingham campaign in early 1963, he drafted the final sermons for "Strength to Love," a volume of his most best-known homilies. King had begun working on the sermons during a fortnight in jail in July 1962. While behind bars, he spent uninterrupted time preparing the drafts for works such as Loving Your Enemies and Shattered Dreams, and he continued to edit the volume after his release. "A Gift of Love" includes these classic sermons, along with two new preachings. Collectively they present King's fusion of Christian teachings and social consciousness, and promote his prescient vision of love as a social and political force for change.
Coretta Scott King (19272006), the wife of Martin Luther King, Jr., was an American author and human rights activist. She helped lead the civil rights movement after Kings assassination, carrying the message of nonviolence and the dream of a beloved community to many countries, and spearheading coalitions and foundations.
“If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. . . . Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right or your left side, not for any selfish reason. I want to be on your right or your left side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition. But I just want to be there in love and in justice and in truth and in commitment to others, so that we can make of this old world a new world.”
—From “The Drum Major Instinct”
“But be ye assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. One day we shall win freedom, but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.”
—From “Loving Your Enemies”