Last night while reading my book, ‘An Untoppable Force’, I was confronted by the realities which Erwin McManus brought to the forefront. It wasn’t shocking to me as I had thought of it before however, he seemed to make the point well in describing the lack of diversity in ethnic church cultures.
He then concludes, “I can’t help but imagine what it would be like if there were at least one person from every country on the planet worshipping together in this community of faith, hope, and love. The global mosaic gives us tremendous potential for generating momentum. It gives us the opportunity to move beyond keeping pace with culture. If the church embraces the challenge of reaching the nations through Jesus Christ, it will stand at the forefront of the emerging cultural dilemma. I guarantee you that any community that can answer Rodney King’s question, ‘Can’t we all just get along?’ with a ‘Yes!’ will have the ear of every significant organization in our society.”
In reflection it seemed as though God was speaking to Erwin’s and my heart the same dream he shared fifty years ago with Martin Luther King Jr. A dream which echoes the beauty of Christ’s Kingdom and inspires us to strive for its fulfillment!
“I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
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 equals.’
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 desert state sweltering with the heat of injustice and 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 the state of Alabama, who’s governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.
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 shall be made plains, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning, ‘My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountain side, let freedom ring.’
And if America is to be a great nation this must be true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from the stone mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountain side, let freedom ring.
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of that old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!'”
Martin Luther King Jr.
The dream still lives Martin!!!
“If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant, when they brought a complaint against me, what then shall I do when God rises up? When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him? Did not he who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?”
“And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”