HIGH POINT, N.C., Jan. 16, 2017 – Priorities were the focus of High Point University’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. worship service inside the Charles E. Hayworth Memorial Chapel today.
In his message, Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, challenged the community members, students, faculty and staff who filled the pews to take action inspired by an important question.
“The question I have for you today is, ‘What really matters?’” Holston said. “This is a special day as we remember the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but understand that a legacy isn’t just meant to be honored. To keep that dream alive is the most important thing. So as we gather today for remembrance, we also gather to say ‘What are we willing to do?’ and ‘What is it that matters to us to make a difference in the communities in which we serve, the places in which we work, the people in which we see and to whom we will give honor and privilege as we go forward together?’”
Holston compared the dedication of sports fans who never miss a game to the dedication needed from ambassadors of peace and equality.
“Fans will wait in line to see that football game all day, and then they’ll sit on concrete bleachers in the cold and not complain,” he said. “Whatever you put the most time into is your priority. We could talk about fairness and justice all we want, but unless it’s your priority, I wonder if it really matters to you?”
Holston said that to participate, you must have “skin in the game,” which won’t always be comfortable, and you’ll have to “stop settling,” which won’t always be easy.
“The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King should be more than a picture in a book or some words heard on Youtube,” he said. “To the people of his time, his legacy really mattered. Today, it should matter that people are seen in a way that they weren’t always seen in the past. We must remember his message of peace and justice and accountability. It’s a message that was revolutionary for his days, but still important even during our complexities today. We still need to understand that the dream can be lived through you and through me.”
“So what matters in Dr. King’s legacy is whether or not you’re going to stop and be kind,” Holston said. “I want you to let go of the stuff that binds you, because at the end of the day, this is what really matters: If you and others around you are free to be what God calls you to be and do what God needs you to do, you’re living the dream – the dream that Martin Luther King said is a dream we all should have. And it’s at that point that the legacy lives.”
Each year, this chapel service celebrates the life and work of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and features noteworthy clergy and scholars from across the country. The Genesis Gospel Choir provided music for the service. Interfaith United, the Board of Stewards, National Pan-Hellenic Council, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, Alpha Kappa Alpha and Black Cultural Awareness served as worship leaders and greeters.
Throughout the day, students were also leading 35 service projects throughout the community during “A Day of Service” to also honor Dr. King’s legacy.