Taking Sermon Notes “On The Drum Major Instinct”- Listening to and Learning from the Reverend Doctor King (1/7)

Eidos | 1/20/2020 | Staff
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Martin Luther King was a pastor descended from pastors. Recall that when King was introduced at the March on Washington, he was the Reverend, the doctorate was unmentioned. As a brilliant preacher, the son of a great pastor (Daddy King), Martin Luther King gained much of his moral authority from the African-American church.

The start of the academic year at The College finds me reading King with ears to hear, beginning near the end of his ministry with The Drum Major Instinct.

King - Sermons - Text - Sermons - Section

This is one King’s last sermons (available to me) and as a text is more uneven than some of his best sermons, quoting a long section from that old pastoral standby One Solitary Life. Yet, as always, there is much to learn, prophetic insight, an error or two (perhaps?), and as always reminder that the way of a follower of Jesus is the way of service through love. No Christian can disagree on this, but most of us forget to do it. God help us. Some thoughts on the sermon.

King suggests that we have a “drum major instinct” that is often destructive, but can motivate us to become great in love.

Begins - Text

King begins with this key text:

“But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your servant: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.”

Cautions - Disciples - Man - Front - Parade

King cautions us not to be too quickly condemn the disciples for asking to be “chief.” He uses “drum major:” that man that marches at the front a parade. Most of us do not know the hard work the drum major does, but we envy the uniform, the prominence, ignoring the work.

It’s a kind of drum major instinct—a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be...
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