LAWRENCE: Good afternoon. My name is Deirdre Lawrence. I'm a PhD candidate in the Division of Toxicology, President of the Black Graduate Student Association. I will be your mistress of ceremonies. I would like to invite Father Bernard Campbell to deliver the invocation.
CAMPBELL: The dominant imagery of relationship among human beings and between human beings and the mysterious God of the Bible is not that of a contract. Contracts bespeak in human experience, and necessarily, limited commitment. They are strictly limited to the persons who sign on. Limited too both in the promises made, and the timing for the completion of the agreement.
The Bible on the other hand, speaks of relationships more daringly. A whole, not partial heartedness. characterizes the central image covenant. The mysterious God promises, I will be with you no matter what you do. I will remain faithful to you. This indeed is the strangest of all the gods.
And humankind, stunned by that fidelity, is invited to memory, action, and hope. Remember, you were once widows, orphans, strangers. So now, care for the weak in your midst, and do so without losing heart. In that memory, passion for justice and hope, we gather to celebrate one of the mysterious God's most faithful covenanters, Martin Luther King Jr.