In light of the 50th anniversary seven years ago, of one of the greatest speeches in American history, I believe we can tap into a “greater grace” to advance Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Dream” and the “Dream” of the Lord Jesus Christ in John 17, that we would be one. I believe there is something beyond the normal talking points of our ideological entrenchment that is available to the humble. In my dream, I still see the Church (or better said, the servants of Jesus Christ) as the best answer for all that is wrong in the world today. However the Church needs to admit we have missed the mark when it comes to reconciling the races and the denominations.
Some of our Sunday morning separation is not wrong; it’s just a matter of cultural preferences similar to the variety on our radio dial. I love the honesty of a black minister in my city. He said, it isn’t that he doesn’t like white or brown people, he just prefers to be with black people and the culture he grew up with. People like certain genres of music. It’s not often you will find country, blues, jazz, hip hop and rock music all on the same radio station. Freedom to choose your preference is a good thing. However when we never interact with people different from us between the Sundays, when we don’t cross pollinate, when we only have relations with our “own kind or family” the offspring we produce can have “birth defects”. Our mutual isolation produces psychological and sociological genetic weaknesses that keeps us from reproducing healthy solutions the next generation needs. We seem to have lost the ability to balance differing points of views, that enables us to walk the “narrow path” that leads to life in our nation.
The Church of Jesus Christ is the only authorized and empowered people on the planet that can bring true reconciliation to mankind. The God who reconciled sinful man to Himself through Christ has deputized us as ministers of reconciliation, in all its forms. However the Church needs to be reminded that the Church isn’t the pattern for the Church… Jesus is the pattern. We are to offer the essence of Christ Himself, not the religion about Him. We are to be Jesus with skin on. That requires us to embrace the crucified-life so His life can flow through us. I believe He is with us today, speaking through people who are willing to yield to His Spirit, whether at the local PTA meeting, at your work place, the State House, the White House or in God’s House.
We sometimes forget that Jesus didn’t come to earth to bring a religion; He came to bring a Kingdom. His kingdom is not political, but it is governmental. He still administers His kingdom rule here on earth, through His servants, one life at a time. Often it’s only those who are broken, “kingdom minded believers” that possess the essential grace to advance the conversation we need so desperately. We need to avoid the seductive trap of partisan group think and confirmation bias. Will we stay stuck by repeating the same old talking points that keeps us separated or will we mature in Christ-likeness to find new solutions? Let’s tap into His grace to advance the conversation that is available to the peacemakers, and we will see the Dream come true.
I have a dream…