I am Grateful that Martin Luther King Jr. had a Dream.

Posted: January 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

“I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.  August 28, 1963

It has been over 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous “I have a dream” speech. This is the day that our county honors and I hope many of us reflect on the sacrifices made by Dr. King (and many others) to see the dream of racial equality begin to happen in our country.

Last week I picked my 5 year old son up from school. One of his best friends (an African-American) boy ran up to give him a goodbye hug and then he talked about one of their other friends (an Asian-American) and it made me pause and think of Dr. King’s speech. I believe that today a bit of that dream had certainly come true. These young friends played with each other and had no passing thoughts of skin color or ethnic background.

It is truly a different place in America than when Dr. King had to boycott those Montgomery buses in 1955-1956. Though we are so often reminded there is much work to do in our country and in our churches in the area of racial harmony, I am grateful to God that we now live in a land that can be freely led by an African-American as President.  And though I may not agree on all our President’s politics nor  would I agree on  Dr. King’s theology;  I am deeply indebted that he had a just dream and gave his life for it. While a bit of that dream has been realized I know it will only fully come to pass when there are those worshipping King Jesus from  “every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” (Revelation 7:9). On that day racism will take it’s final blow.

I am grateful by God’s grace to be a part of a Gospel-driven racial reconciliation movement of ministers where I live (though this article does not emphasize the “Gospel” focus)and may we all strive to answer in our on way what MLK Jr. said was life’s most persistent and urgent question: ‘What are you doing for others?’

Here are some resources helpful to reflect and equip us to remember Dr. King and the areas of racial harmony.

John Piper does a great service to us with his recent contribution called Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian. He had made it a free PDF download on MLK Day and you can download it here.

Take the time to download it and read it! If you are not into digitally reading go ahead and buy a copy here. You can see a powerful short video documentary about the book and Piper’s experiences growing up in the turbulent 60s south.

A must read is Dr. Russell Moore’s “How Martin Luther King Jr. Overcame ‘Christian’ White Supremacy.”

Here Ed Stetzer gives a look at Dr. Martin Luther King’s Letter to American Christians that is just as applicable now as it was in 1956.

Of course you can go straight to the King Center for resources.

Take the time to hear Dr. King give his “I have a dream” speech.

Before Dr. Martin Luther King was a major civil rights leader he was a pastor and preacher. The Bible Gateway Blog takes a look at the Bible passages behind MLK’s  speeches.

If you have never watched it take some time in the near future to wath the PBS documentary: “Eyes On The Prize” that chronicles America’s Civil Rights Movement from 1954-1985. Unfortunately, PBS does not air as often as they used to but the series is available on DVD and most episodes on youtube. In the first episode called: Awakenings, you see a young 26-year-old pastor, Martin Luther King, Jr.;  “accidentally” become the leader in the Montgomery Civil Rights movement that leads to national prominence.

Jason L. Sanders gives some great insights into MLK and the Tyranny of Having a Day Off.

While Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most well known “I have a Dream” speech was delivered in August 1963 I believe one of his most powerful quotes came from a sermon he delivered at New York City’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, a year to the day before he was assassinated. Where he said:

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.

*this post was  originally written January 16,2012 and has been edited  and reposted.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s