Some Inspiring Words …
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 “people” are created equal. –Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led us on a journey toward God’s preferred future. We are grateful for those who traveled to Washington 50 years ago and we thank God for those who marched in towns and cities all across our nation. We also celebrate the people along the way who worked and sacrificed their lives for racial equality and a more fair and just world. Children like Emmitt Till, and Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley, who were getting ready for church services in Birmingham. Adults like Rev. George Lee, William Moore, Medgar Evers, Rev. Bruce Klunder and Viola Liuzzo. These and many others who gave their lives were dreamers of what the world could be. Their legacy is not in vain. Today we celebrate the marchers and the martyrs, the workers and the dreamers who shed the light of Christ for the world to see. We celebrate our progress as witnessed in desegregated schools, fairer housing laws, and increased access to higher education, jobs and equal pay.
Fifty years ago, God’s people stood under the heat of an August sun to catch a glimpse of a Spirit-filled dream of children of all races joining hand and hand and sharing all things in common. Today we celebrate the people who gathered in Washington, DC on August 28, 1963 to call us to a dream of what we could become.
It is not unlike, two thousand years ago when God’s people stood under the heat of the Pentecost day’s sun to catch a glimpse of a Spirit-filled dream – Your young people shall see visions, and your seniors shall dream dreams… Awe came over everyone, because wonders and signs were being done… together people held all things in common; they sold their possessions and goods and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. (Acts 2:44-45).
We have made strong progress but we can never stop dreaming. Today I dream for a more diverse church where our sanctuaries look more like our communities. I dream of a church that treats the stranger like an old friend. I dream of a church with an urgency of the now to heal souls and renew communities, to break down the barriers of race and class, ethnicity and nationality. I dream of a church that welcomes all. I dream of a church whose sole aim is to be like Christ who stands with the Rev. Dr. Kings, the Medgar Evers, and the Cynthia Wesleys of our time. To be like Jesus who spent more time with the poor, the sick and the Samaritans than with me. I dream of a church that stands up for the least, the last and the lost even at the cost of losing some who have the most. I dream of a church that can do this like Rev. Dr. King, with love rather than anger, by working with all rather than some, by healing rather than creating division.
We give thanks for the dreamers and their dreams that capture our imaginations and transport us to a holy future, a kingdom future filled with righteousness and justice, with peace and hope. Today we give thanks for the Apostle Peter and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who dared to dream.
Today we need to dream big and not shrink before the challenges of our times; to rise up with Rev. Dr. King and others to face the challenges of our day with daring and hope. Keep the dream alive.
John Schol, Bishop
The United Methodist Church
Greater New Jersey Conference
Filed Under: Sunday Bulletin Articles