OK, so I know that everywhere you turned today, the media was talking about connections between the “I have a dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr., and the inaguration of President Obama. So my writing a blog on this tonight is not going to be this ground-breaking revelation. I was watching one of the networks cover MLK day, and they showed Dr. King’s speech in Washington, D.C., and as always, I was moved to tears. I think the thing that gets me about this speech is the deep connection to Gospel themes. He reminds us that justice, mercy, and grace need to reach to all people.
As our nation has moved toward the inaguration of President Obama, I have enjoyed seeing a large segment of our society finding hope in the fulfillment of King’s dream. While I do not agree with everything our new President stands for, I do find it wonderful that a person was “judged by the content of his character and not the color of his skin” on election day.
Every time I hear the “I have a dream” speech, I am reminded of one of the great Biblical themes, the fact those God blesses should be a blessing. In Genesis 12:1-3, God calls a man named Abram (later God would change his name to Abraham), and leads him to leave his people, his nation, his comfort zone, and his security to follow God. In the midst of this call, God promises Abraham that He will bless him, make him a great nation, and make his name great. It is the next phrase in the promise and covenant that God made with Abraham that strikes me. God says he is going to do all this “so that you will be a blessing,” and that all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” I too have a dream, and that dream is that one day the Gospel will so deeply reach into the church, that we will realize that we are blessed to be a blessing. God has reached into the lives of His people, transformed them by mercy and grace, and granted the wonder of the Holy Spirit, so that He can bless the world. As this theme, blessed to be a blessing develops in the Scriptures, it becomes apparent that there are two key groups on whom God’s people should focus. The first group is the poor, hurting, and broken of their culture. The second group is the nations, the ethnic groups around them that are different culturally, and speak other languages. Many times, followers of Jesus will do well in one of these areas, but neglect the other. Some tend to do a decent job of caring for the poor and hurting in their culture, but do not reach out to people who are different in skin color, language, and culture. Others Christians will go to the corners of the world to reach out to other cultures, but don’t find ways to live the Gospel among the poor and hurting in their own. I guess, at least for me, I am so deeply challenged by the dream of Dr. King, because I realize that the Gospel should reach so deeply into my life that I become a part of the fulfillment of his dream. May we see the wonderful depth of the blessings of God, and then realize that He has blessed us to be a blessing.