Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was born on January 15, 1929, and the holiday on Monday marks his 89th birthday. Each year, this day offers us a reminder to reflect on the important work to which Dr. King devoted his life.

In a sermon preached in Detroit in 1954, Dr. King said, “The great problem facing modern man is that the means by which we live have outdistanced the spiritual ends for which we live.”

He then told the story from the gospels of how Jesus became separated from his parents during their extended trip to the Passover services in Jerusalem when he was 12 years old. Joseph and Mary had to go back to Jerusalem to search for Jesus and to be reunited with him. Dr. King said these words about the story, which are just as true today as the day he first preached them: “If we are to go forward, if we are to make this a better world in which to live, we’ve got to go back. We’ve got to rediscover these precious values that we’ve left behind.”

As he closed his remarks, he made this personal commitment: “I’m not going to put my ultimate faith in the little gods that can be destroyed in an atomic age, but the God who has been our help in the ages past, and our hope for years to come, and our shelter in the time of storm, and our eternal home.”

May the holiday on Monday be an opportunity to remember and reaffirm the values Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of, and may they strengthen the moral framework in our personal lives and in our nation.