Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr. was brutally murdered for boldly and compassionately standing up for love, unity, and equality. The night before, in his last speech, King said: “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.”
What was Martin Luther King’s dream? His 9 year-old granddaughter, Yolanda Renee King, recently put it this way: “My grandfather had a dream that his four little children will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
It’s sad that 50 years later, skin color is still used to divide people in America. Why don’t we live King’s dream?
Unfortunately, true love and unity cannot be imposed by law. Justice can, to a degree, be legislated; but love and brotherhood must come from the heart.
King’s dream was based on His faith in and commitment to follow Jesus Christ. He wrote: “Christianity affirms that at the heart of reality is a Heart, a loving Father who works through history for the salvation of His children. Man cannot save himself, for man is not the measure of all things and humanity is not God. Bound by the chains of his own sin and finiteness, man needs a Savior.”
He also said: “By opening our lives to God in Christ, we become new creatures. This experience, which Jesus spoke of as the new birth, is essential if we are to be transformed nonconformists . . . Only through an inner spiritual transformation do we gain the strength to fight vigorously the evils of the world in a humble and loving spirit.”
The key to King’s dream is not politics. It’s Jesus. Only Jesus can change hearts and overcome the centuries of racial prejudice, injustice, and disparities in America.
So how can we begin to live out the dream? We have to let Jesus teach us to love people who look different than we do. That happens best in interracial small groups where we can get know people’s hearts.
A good place to begin is to invite people of a different “race” into your home. For a wonderful guidebook about how to host small group meetings in your home, check out the book ONE: Unfolding God’s Eternal Purpose From House To House. #dreamstilllives
Jesus is the key to MLK’s dream!