Today we will begin a month long series on MLK called “The Path to Love.” In this series we will look at the scriptures behind some of his most famous speeches and sermons. We will look at the principles that allowed him to so powerfully confront injustice without losing compassion. Today we will look at what he meant by “loving our enemies.”

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. So when Jesus says “Love your enemies,” he is setting forth a profound and ultimately inescapable admonition. Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies– or else? The chain reaction of evil–hate begetting hate, wars producing wars–must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”

― Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love.