And I say to you this morning in conclusion (Lord have mercy) that I’m not going to put my ultimate faith in things. I’m not going to put my ultimate faith in gadgets and contrivances. As a young man with most of my life ahead of me, I decided early (Oh yeah) to give my life to something eternal and absolute. (All right) Not to these little gods that are here today and gone tomorrow. (Come on) But to God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Not in the little gods that can be with us in a few moments of prosperity. (Yes) But in the God who walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death, (That’s right) and causes us to fear no evil. (All right) That’s the God. (Come on)
Not in the god that can give us a few Cadillac cars and Buick convertibles, as nice as they are, that are in style today and out of style three years from now. (All right) But the God who threw up the stars, (Come on) to bedeck the heavens like swinging lanterns of eternity. (All right, Oh yes) Not in the god that can throw up a few skyscraping buildings, but the God who threw up the gigantic mountains, kissing the sky, (Yes) as if to bathe their peaks in the loftitudes. (Yes)
Not in the god that can give us a few televisions and radios, but the God who threw up that great cosmic light, that gets up early in the morning in the eastern horizon, (Oh yes) who paints its technicolor across the blue, (Oh yes, Come on) something that man could never make. (All right, Yes)
I’m not going to put my ultimate faith in the little gods that can be destroyed in an atomic age, (Yes) but the God who has been our help in ages past, (Come on) and our hope for years to come, (All right) and our shelter in the time of storm, (Oh yes) and our eternal home.’ That’s the God that I’m putting my ultimate faith in. (Oh yes, Come on now) That’s the God that I call upon you to worship this morning. (Yes) Go out and be assured that that God is going to last forever. (Yes) Storms might come and go. (Yes) Our great skyscraping buildings will come and go. (Yes) Our beautiful automobiles will come and go, but God will be here. (Amen) Plants may wither, the flowers may fade away, but the Word of our God shall stand forever, and nothing can ever stop Him. (Bring it down) All of the P-38s in the world can never reach God. All of our atomic bombs can never reach Him. The God that I’m talking about this morning (Come on) is the God of the universe and the God that will last through the ages. (All right) If we are to go forward this morning, ( Well) we’ve got to go back and find that God. (All right) That is the God that demands and commands our ultimate allegiance. (Right)
If we are to go forward, (Oh yes) we must go back and rediscover these precious values (Well)-that all reality hinges on moral foundations (Lord have mercy) and that all reality has spiritual control. (Yes) God bless you. (Amen, Amen, Amen)
-The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sermon entitled "Recovering Lost Values"
Detroit, Michigan, 1954.