Sunday, January 20, 2008

King Arthur, Jr. Day?????

I know that a lot of you are enjoying a long weekend. My son told me the other day that he was excited to be off for King Arthur Jr. Day. :-). My wife and I, of course, laughed corrected him and told him it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We told him of the great leader he was and the difference he made, not just for people of color. Tomorrow we are going to read the speech together as a family to let our son know the dream the he had and take some time to remember him.

The questions I have are: Has his dream come true? What has hindered his dream? What can make a difference? Can the church influence the dream? Should the church be more involved in social issues? Why or why not? Would our country allow this kind of speech to be made today? What does that say about our country? What does that say about his dream? Are we really free? Have our rights changed in any way today? In a good way or bad way?

Here is a portion of his, "I Have A Dream" speech:

"I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

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 in 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 color 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, 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.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the moutain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, 'My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing, Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.'

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississsippi. From every mountside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestents and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!'

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.


Blogger Milly said...

In a lot of ways we’ve come a long way in changes. Some Churches of Christ have women in leadership roles. We ladies are able to speak from the pulpit area and lead in prayer before men. Sadly we don’t get the equal amount of respect the men do.

My concern is in the Hispanic community. It seems that some folks just can’t see that these folks add to our country. Not trying to make it a debate here but I’m saddened by what people say. I work retail people say horrible things about the signs and the SCO being set up for Hispanic people.

We’ve come a long way and still have a long way to go.

1:27 AM  
Blogger Terry said...

Thanks for bringing up this topic. I share Milly's concern about the way Hispanics are treated today.

7:39 AM  
Blogger AncientWanderer said...

Just saying- "Good Morning"

10:24 AM  
Blogger Alan said...

Some parts of the dream are visibly realized in some limited settings. I think sitting down together at the table of brotherhood is happening in the church in some places. I doubt we'll ever see a day on this earth when all people of all races will treat each other with equality and righteousness.

12:55 PM  
Blogger ROD said...

It's not just black and white. The current riots in Kenya between two black tribes are racially motivated. It's not the color of our skin, it's the color of our heart.

12:04 AM  
Blogger Stoned-Campbell Disciple said...

Thanks for sharing.

Bobby Valentine

2:02 PM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...

The playing field is only level at the foot of the cross.

We can only have unconditional love and respect for each other (without regard to race, creed, social status, etc.)when Christ is being lived out through us.

Social management, education, and all the best intentions we can offer pale in comparison to God's love being fleshed out by redeemed people. Preaching about the woes of racial inequality, against bigotry, sexism, and a dozen other societal ills will never equal the effect of preaching Christ.

His peace,
Royce Ogle

3:25 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Milly and Terry great point about the Hispanic Community.

I hope you have a "good morning" too.

Great points as always.

Thank you for informing us on Kenya and the color of the heart.

Your comment means a lot.

I love that "The playing field is only level at the foot of the cross" Wow. Powerful. Moving. I like it. Amen.

5:19 PM  
Blogger NaNcY said...

i like the story of your son and how you talked to him. i think that is where a lot can be changed. in having real relationships, starting with a real relationship with God and then taking the time, thought, and energy to care enough to extend that relationship to children, parents, neighbors, and others.

each of us are getting more and more self centered and cut off from relationship thus cutting off the power and love of God.

our nation and world is starving from lack of love and care and even if parents (including me) cared and Loved enough to look outward and actually have a real relationship with our children it would make great changes in the world just to start.

to love God and Love one another.

love God and love yourself a whole lot!

love God
and love people only from a certain town or group.

love God
and love only believers.

love God
and love the tv and computer.

well, you know what i mean.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Arlene Kasselman said...

Thanks for helping us focus on this. Yes, I do think the church needs to play a role in justice for the community - whoever that includes.

Nothing like reading Amos & Micah and seeing the heart of God for those who are powerless or reading the Sermon on the Mount and hearing Jesus' invitation to all people.

I love your reading of the speech to your son.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Darin L. Hamm said...

Good read.

Yes in some ways and no in others.

11:01 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I want to thank everyone for their wonderful comments. I hope you had a bless Martin Luther King Day.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Dr. King was the greatest man in American history next to Kennedy and Clinton. I want to thank you so much Kinney for this wonderful post remember this wonderful man.

7:41 PM  
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