I Have a Dream Too

It’s been 50 years since a Christian minister called on other Christians to live out the true meaning of their name. He called us to be who we are. He spoke of a world where our faith-talk would be defined by our faith-walk. His dream was of a united nation and not just for a nation but of a world filled with a united race of humans who lived in harmony with each other. No one could ever accuse him of not dreaming a Big Dream.

His dream was not perfect but dreams rarely are. With that said his dream of unity was not very different from the dream that Christ prays for all who believe in Him, “… that they may all be one”. No one has ever laid out as expansive a vision of peace and reconciliation quite like Jesus did but King’s dream is pretty-close. As it is with Christ and Dr. King, there have always been caring and thinking individuals who seek to end the suffering of the human condition; suffering that comes from uncaring, unthinking and exploitative people separating us for sport and filthy gain. We have been lied to and set against one another into warring factions of men vs. women, black vs. white, rich vs. poor and every other surface and external difference that we allow to divide us. Worse yet, some of us base our identity and value solely in these incomplete definitions of our humanity and this incompleteness is what divides us and gives us an excuse to not do our part to end suffering. Because if I’m just a Middle Aged-African American-College Educated-Man then why should I care about the pains of an Aged-Poor-Afghani-Woman?

Dr. King envisioned a world where each individual’s externals did not define that person and that those external markers had an ever diminishing role in arriving at a person’s value. He dreamed of a world where the external markers were of less importance than what was on the inside of a person. I read a scripture where Jesus illustrates this truth to a group of Pharisees about their misguided judgment. He illustrates that the inside of a person is a better representation and that it offers a true assessment of their value. He teaches that assigning value to anything is incomplete if you merely judge the outside. King’s dream echoes this very same sentiment and I applaud this exemplary address for its clarity and inspirational nature but most of all for reminded us of what Christ said. King’s speech was filled with lofty ideals of a better existence together.

Sunday Mornings

It’s been 50 years since Christians of all sorts have heard, recited and analyzed this speech. It’s been 50 years since we have praised its ideals and sweeping rhetoric. It has been 50 years since we caught a vision of what a fairer and better existence together could be and it’s also been 50 years of incremental change that is much too slow. No, we are not static. But there remains some of the dissonance in our culture.

It has often been said that Sunday Morning is the most divided hour in our country. Now Christian friends, this is not because of the Sunday Morning political talk shows or tailgating with fans of your favorite team or some other thing; this great divide maybe because of a heart condition, but hopefully it is just a degenerative issue with our vision!

If we are willing to let God “open the eyes of our hearts”, I am sure that we can see each other and recognize the common humanity that we share. The ancient Roman playwright, Terence, leaves us a great gem when he states, “I am a human being, I consider nothing that is human alien to me.” Maybe this explains the behavior of Jesus when He is confronted with the woman caught in adultery. Instead of just judging her by “the content of her character”, He has compassion on her. Surely there are boundaries between she and He. She is a woman. She is a sinner. She has been disrobed and it has been discovered that the “content of her character” was found wanting. But Jesus takes her into His heart and loves her. He repays her bad behavior with compassion. He does not condemn her. He leaves her with more self-worth and value and far less suffering than when he comes across her. This is the fulfillment of the Dream. Society was ready to assign her a value based on the content of her character but Jesus affirms her value because she is a flawed human being in whom God loves and delights. We can see each other in this compassionate and loving light but only if we are willing to allow God to train our eyes to see.

Taking Hold of the Dream

I have a dream too. I dream that we will go all in for the mission of reconciliation. Reconciling the “us and them” is the place where The Dream creates a new reality. It is the battle ground of not good and evil but of Better and Best. I dream that the Church is a school and that Jesus is the Head Master who teaches us the Best way to love our neighbor. I pray that we will learn not just from His words but also from His attitude and actions that we see in His encounter with the woman who was caught in adultery. I dream that we will rid ourselves of language and behavior that marginalizes and that we consciously choose a way that takes the other into our hearts and souls and loves like Jesus loves. I dream that we will become a people who rise up and continue to raise our voices to encourage and persuade ourselves and others to keep our eyes on the prize and our hands to the plow as we navigate the long, arduous and millennium old task of reconciling us and them.

I believe that God has called each of us in this generation to heal broken hearts, reach out to sin-sick souls and to bind up the wounds of the hurting. I too dream that our Christian love and charity can be a balm to soothe the pain and suffering that is inflicted in all of the -isms. And my dream is that you and I will do our part in this work of reconciliation not by our own might and cunning but with the power of God and the leading of His Holy Spirit. Martin had a dream and I have a dream too.

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Bibliolatry and The Kingdom of God: Do They Really Go Together? - Beau Davis



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McKinney at Cardinal

101 Cardinal Drive
Denton, TX 76209



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