…that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. Ephesians 2:15b-16.
Dear Friends in Christ,
Nearly sixty years ago, The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial. It appealed to the American value of freedom, and while it shined light on the injustices of segregation, it also pointed the nation in a new direction. The Rev. Dr. King’s mission was not simply a public policy drive. His mission was driven by God’s mission. Go to the King Center in Atlanta and read carved in stone the principles by which he required his followers to operate. They are Christian principles, rooted in Jesus’ call to love. Those who could not love their persecutors would need to find a different way to serve. Because that call to Christian love was the basis and the goal of his work, and reconciliation in Christ is the destination of Christian love. It would not be enough to change policies without that reconciliation. It would not be enough to denounce the sins of segregation without that reconciliation. It would not be enough to win without winning each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Rev. Dr. King learned his dream from God’s dream—a dream that God pursued by coming to us to die for us and to transform us with new life so that we might be reconciled to him, and to each other through him. In this broken world, we will always have space between our broken lives and that dream. But we can choose to walk through the heat of a hostile world to pursue that dream, with bold love and a desire for reconciliation that moves us to action. We can choose the uneasy vulnerability required to listen across difference, to speak honestly, to give beyond rights out of God’s desire for reconciliation welling up within us. Each time we do, the bonds of our division that hold us apart will loosen, and God’s dream will find more life in us.
God bless you with his dream this day.
Yours in Christ,