This past Tuesday (August 28) was the 55th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The March took place in the midst of the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960’s, that in some fashion continues to this day. The March is best known for the speech, “I Have a Dream,” delivered by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (You can watch the speech here: https://youtu.be/smEqnnklfYs)
As I listened to portions of the speech on Tuesday, I was again amazed and gripped by the vision that was set forth:
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today….
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”
Dr. King had a way of stating the injustices succinctly, plainly, clearly. Yet he was not content with reciting a litany of wrongs. In the midst of strife and struggle, he dreamed. He saw the possibility and probability of a very different future.
His vision was shaped by his immersion in the story of God. Isaiah the prophet speaks of the coming transformation that comes to the world in Christ (Isaiah 40). Isaiah’s gospel words carry the promise of God’s transformation into the present, for nations, communities, and people. Dr. King was steeped in the gospel and God’s dreams spoke in a fresh voice.
Dr. King’s speech challenges me. I am challenged to be immersed in the Scriptures so that God’s vision shapes my daily dreams, aspirations, language, and action. I am challenged to let the vision of a better future shine brighter and grip deeper than daily struggles that are in my face right now. I am challenged to be a dreamer.
While I, and maybe you, face similar challenges, it is the dreamers of God’s dreams that see the glory of the Lord. It is the dreamers, not the realists nor the pessimists, who see a highway of goodness in a wasteland. It is the dreamers, like Simeon and Anna, who wait and look for God’s glory in the temple, who are not disappointed. In old age, they experience God’s faithfulness and goodness (Lk 2).
This upcoming weekend is Labor Day. As you have a moment to reflect on the significance and meaning of the holiday, be encouraged to be a dreamer. Find a spot to let the good news of God shape your dreams, aspirations, language and action. Join us on Sunday for a unique worship experience that promises to be a place for God to spark a fresh movement of his people. Honestly, we don’t know what Sunday’s “Morning of Worship” is going to look like in full, but we are dreaming, praying, and open for God to make the rough places plain and the crooked places straight so that God’s glory is revealed to all flesh.
With much love for you,