April 4, 2010. What is so significant this year about this date? The date shares a common impression.
April 4, 2010 is Easter Sunday. This date applies to the western calendar designed for Catholic and Protestant Churches, and also to the Eastern Orthodox Church. But this year April 4 is important for another cause. It is the date Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.
April 4, 2008, marks the forty- second anniversary of the assignation of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On that date in 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down in Memphis, Tennessee. He was undoubtedly the most famous and influential leader of the Peace and Civil Rights Movement in the United States.
I am not comparing Dr. King to The King of Kings, but there are many points of similarities between these two individuals. Like Christ, Dr. King suffered unwarranted mistreatment for his faith through his dedication to the modern day civil rights movement. He and his followers provided a powerful message, believing that change was worth suffering for.
Another important comparison between the two is that, in both cases, without seeking their own death or any harm to others, each was murdered or put to death for their religious faith.
A happenstance is that an African Pope, St. Victor decreed that Easter should be celebrated on a Sunday, and this year Easter Sunday is celebrated on April 4.
Pope St. Victor was an African, the son of Felix. A troublesome controversy over when Easter should be celebrated occurred during the reign of Victor, because Christians observed different days for the most important feast of the year.
In the year 325 AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine got the early Christian leaders together at Nicea to fix matters of doctrine and dates of important Christian events such as Easter. Pope Victor put his foot down and ordered the Church to celebrate Easter on Sunday. They chose the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox.
Regardless of the attitude that we sometimes take, each one of us should emphasize the importance of Easter and the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and in April, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
My aim is to emphasize the importance of the repeatedly under-appreciated date of April 4, Dr. King’s last day on earth, and to gain a greater appreciation for our approach to spirituality.
April 4, 2010, a day of celebration and remembrance.