Dreamers dream

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“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh;

and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams,

your young men shall see visions” Joel 2:28 (KJV)

It was a time not unlike today with a nation deeply entrenched into a divide that stretched across the American landscape. There, Dr. Martin Luther King stepped onto the stage of history to provide a clarity to the American dream as never before.

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It was a little over a hundred years earlier that the Abraham Lincoln stood on the stairs of the U.S. Capital and gave his 2nd inaugural address. The president communicated with pragmatism, the merits of bridging a divided country and treating all with dignity, Confederate rebels included.

In 1968 the enemy was privilege gone awry. It was the backlash against post Civil War Reconstruction, which had birthed the Civil Rights movement. A positive aspect of the cycle was that the movement multiplied into a generation of dreamers. Christ’s followers must once again become the innovators which lay claim to the epicenter of  hope for these dreamers.

The early Church in Acts Chapter 2 found a way to serve God and help all people by building the bridge of a tangible kingdom for God from the bottom up, by helping one another along the way. Today’s obsolete group on society’s fringe disheartens many and wins over few. In his I Have a Dream speech, Dr King said it this way:

“It’s all right to talk about “long white robes over yonder,” in all of its symbolism. But ultimately people want some suits and dresses and shoes to wear down here! It’s all right to talk about “streets flowing with milk and honey,” but God has commanded us to be concerned about the slums down here, and his children who can’t eat three square meals a day. It’s all right to talk about the new Jerusalem, but one day, God’s preacher must talk about the new New York, the new Atlanta, the new Philadelphia, the new Los Angeles, the new Memphis, Tennessee.

This is what we have to do.” This phantom logic was uncovered by Dr. King as he described the 11:00 A.M. Sunday morning as being the most divided hour of the week.

Ultimately, these religious differences play a substantial role in U.S. life, from identity politics to working for racial justice and reconciliation,”By going about faith differently, valuing different aspects of the Christian God and having divergent religious histories, black and white Protestants vote overwhelmingly opposite of one another, and often work against each other in efforts toward racial equity and cohesion. For real progress to be made, these groups will need to truly understand one another.” (Blacks and Whites in Christian America) Michael Emerson.

The Dreamers are not limited by the Sunday morning worship experience. King’s vision was about giving everyone a place at the table. His mountain top experience moved us away from paralyzing labels and marginalizing designations. Martin Luther King Day this year is marked by the inauguration of a person of color, two term President Barack Obama.

Regardless of which side of the political isle one resides, and there are Christians all sides; the
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election of Barack Obama approached the miraculous just 40 years after the fire hoses, dogs, lynchings and blocked school doors. King delivering his historic dissertation declared:

“He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!”

The fateful part of his words rang true; on April 4, 1968 the Dreamer was assassinated.

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.” John 12:24 New Living Translation (NLT)

Those days planted the seeds for the birth of a nation of Dreamers. Let”s start Living the Dream.

Kevin Robinson Executive Director of Accord1

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