Dare to dream

January 9th, 2018

On August 28, 1963, American civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech during the March on Washington. From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., King’s speech of freedom and equality became a defining moment of the Civil Rights Movement. This speech was originally entitled “Normalcy, Never Again.” However, near the end of its delivery, an African-American gospel singer in the crowd named Mahalia Jackson cried out, “Tell them about the dream, Martin.” This request prompted King to deviate from his prepared manuscript, accentuating each point with the speech’s more renowned title, “I Have a Dream.”

Practice what you preach

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American Baptist minister. His Christian beliefs and values inspired his acts of nonviolence and civil disobedience, desiring to uphold Jesus’ words to turn the other cheek as stated in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5). King considered his activism to be an extension of his ministry into the world. Whether speaking at a small country church in the South or in front of hundreds of thousands of people at the nation’s capital, King interwove the gospel message, along with Jesus’ command to love our neighbors as ourselves, into his public discourse as a witness to his faith and calling as a preacher.

Honoring King’s legacy

While the efforts of the Civil Rights Movement ended legalized racial segregation in the United States, racism is a belief that still prompts many decisions made and actions taken in our nation today. Other forms of discrimination, such as sexism, ageism and ableism also influence our everyday lives in overt and subtle ways. Discriminating hearts and minds keep God’s dream of “justice roll[ing] down like waters” (Amos 5:24) from being accomplished. As we honor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy on January 15th, let us not forget our shared Christian values of justice as we work to make our communities places of fairness and equality for all.

Question of the day: How do you respond when something is not fair?
Focal scriptures: Amos 5:18-27; Isaiah 40:1-8; Galatians 3:26–4:7

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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