5 Martin Luther King Day Activities — to Honor and Celebrate Together

Celebrate Martin Luther King Day and to use it as a disciple making lesson

How do you celebrate Martin Luther King Day?

 

So much can be learned from Martin Luther King Jr.’s incredible life. His life is not only an example of a life lived with purpose, but also a life lived with God at the center.

 

Martin Luther King Day activities are an excellent opportunity to celebrate and use this day as a learning experience to accept and love all people as God loves them.

5 Martin Luther King Day Activities that teach us to love others and be disciple makers for Jesus

1. Listen or watch a portion of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream speech"

At Lincoln Memorial in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. stood in front of 250,000 people to deliver one of the most iconic speeches in history. It is a vital piece of American history, and his famous words about equality touch many who hear them. We can use this incredible speech as a disciple making tool to teach about how Jesus came for us all regardless of country, race, or religion.

 

As your first Martin Luther King Day activity, you can listen, read, or watch (the speech is also on YouTube) — and then talk about the lessons in it. Talk about the values presented by Martin Luther King Jr. and how they reflect God’s love for us — how He came for everyone, and we are to love all people.

2. Take turns reading an abbreviated version of his famous "Letter from the Birmingham Jail"

Martin Luther King Jr. penned these famous words in this letter — “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

 

This letter provides a great way to honor his work and discuss how God wants us to join together as one body of believers. Here is a link to an abridged version of the letter, or listen to an audio version here.

3. Enjoy eating Martin Luther King Jr.'s favorite foods

A delicious and easy way to celebrate Martin Luther King Day is to cook his favorite southern comfort foods. Since he grew up in Atlanta, his favorite meal was mouth-watering fried chicken, black-eyed peas, collard greens, and cornbread. And don’t forget to top the menu with a nice size slice of pecan pie.

 

As a busy family, we usually grab fried chicken to-go. But you could always make meal prep into a “team” event to do together. You can use this time to connect with and open up conversations about how we need to listen to others and share experiences with them. And how by sharing those experiences, God opens up opportunities to grow connections where we can talk about Jesus.

4. Watch the movie "Selma" (Parental discretion advised for those with younger children.)

This film is a fantastic, eye-opening depiction of the time and marches led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for the African American people’s voting rights in the United States. The film is not for young kids; however, it can be an excellent tool for older kids to see how a life lived for a great purpose changed so many. Selma is here for rent on Amazon. Watch as a family and discuss how God wants us to live our lives out for Him and with Him.

5. Talk about how God loves ALL. He does not discriminate, and neither do we.

“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Galatians 5:14 (ESV)

 

Jesus’s love is for ALL. Round out your celebration with this truth — God wants us to be one body in Christ, each made to give God glory, and each made in His image.

How do you celebrate Martin Luther King Day?

Do you have any Martin Luther King Day activities we didn’t include? Share in the comments!

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