On the twenty-eight of August, 1963, a Baptist pastor stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC ready to deliver a speech. A crowd of more than 200,000 people stretched out in front of him. I imagine he was filled with both excitement and fear. He began delivering the speech he had prepared, but midway through it he put his notes aside and spoke from the very depths of his heart. There in the open air, on the steps of the Lincoln memorial, Dr Martin Luther King gave what many regard as the greatest sermon of the twentieth century.
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 men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
We have to remember how audacious King’s dream was. To many it seemed an impossible dream. It was a dream forged in a country where blacks and whites were segregated by custom and law, where the rivers of division ran so deep it seemed foolishness to suggest they could be overcome.
But for this Baptist pastor standing at the Lincoln memorial in front of 200,000 people it was a possible dream because it was God’s dream. King was convinced that God dreamed of a world where the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners sit down together at the table of brotherhood, and that in the civil rights movement the Spirit of God was at work bringing this world into being.
So I want to ask you a question. What is God dreaming about today?