The time is ripe

In the small lobby of the offices of the Christian Century hang two large mounted posters. Each contains a familiar photograph of a major figure in American Christianity, along with a brief quotation from one of the articles he wrote for the Century. One poster features Reinhold Niebuhr; the other, Martin Luther King Jr.

King contributed to the Century and for a while before his death was one of our editors at large. The quotation that appears in the lobby is from the “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” which appeared in the Century of June 12, 1963. King wrote: “Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men [today he would add “and women”] willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”

 

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