August 28, 2013 was the 50th anniversary of one of my all-time favorite speeches. It was a speech given by one single man, on one single occasion, but it was a speech that ultimately changed a nation…and hopefully is still changing a nation. It was Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Just reading the words again for this writing brought tears to my eyes.
He had a dream of racial equality that sprung from the depths of an uncomfortable well of discontentment. That discontentment was right. It was good. It was as it should have been. It was a discontentment that all peoples should have felt. That discontentment drove a dream of change.
What I want to ask you today…in my own small way…in light of the glory of our Mighty God…
Do you have any dreams today?
I also have an uncomfortable well of discontentment…and, it is feeding some dreams for the future of our church…the future of the Lord’s people here…and everywhere.
I have a dream...
That one day we will fill these pews…and not just with folks we have stolen from other similar buildings, but with the broken, the hurting, the disillusioned, and the distressed.
Matthew 9:10-13 – While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
I have a dream...
That we will raise this roof with praise…not with the artificial cords of electronic amplification, but with the overwhelming praise of hundreds of voices raised in joyful praise to the God of our salvation.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.
I have a dream...
That one day…soon maybe…our times together will consistently run overtime because of the three, four, or five baptisms we have every week…then…every day.
Acts 2:46-47 – Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
I have those dreams because I possess an uncomfortable well of discontentment. I want us to be more. I want us to make a difference. I want this church to be used by God to propel the Gospel forward and change lives. And, I know that with God all things are possible. I know that it is His desire that everyone come to walk with Him in repentance and renewal.
The question is not whether these things can be done. The question is not whether God would have it be done. The question really is:
Will we be His voice in this hurting world?
Let me ask you…do you share my well of discontentment? Do you share my dreams? Can you feel that discontentment in your inner being? If you do, let’s lift our mouths in praise and our hearts in prayer! Let’s bow our heads in humility and join our hands in unity!
Let’s dream…let’s believe…let’s act…and let’s watch God fill up our wellspring of life with the reality of His power!