50 Years Later – ‘I Have a Dream’

dr-martin-luther-king-i-have-a-dream-speechFifty years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr., articulated with clarity and power a dream for racial equality within our nation that is unparalleled. That speech, known as ‘I Have a Dream,’ is unparalleled because the vision he articulated transcended his individual life and put into eloquent words the deepest longings of many people in a way that endures even today. That speech is unparalleled because no one has been able to say so much about these key issues in such a short amount of space and time.This speech is unparalleled because it still rings with power, reminding us that, as he said, “Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning.”

Today, we will encounter multitudes of reflections upon King’s speech by various people. While there is much that could be said about Martin Luther King, Jr., as a leader, orator, pastor, and husband, I want to encourage you today to simply read, listen to, or watch (below) the roughly seventeen-minute speech that King gave fifty years ago today. 

For those interested in further reading, explore the following related links:

5 thoughts on “50 Years Later – ‘I Have a Dream’

  1. “While there is much that could be said about Martin Luther King, Jr., as a leader, orator, pastor, and husband…” Matt is this not true of us all? Your post is meaningful without this acknowledgement that King had failings as grave as our own. Maybe every time we quote someone or refer to someone’s work, we should also add that he was nasty to his wife when his ankles hurt, he longed for a previous girlfriend though he was married, he took his bottled-up anger out on his children, or he flirted with his students? I really appreciate your posting your comments and linking to the speech which I did listen to. The many sacrifices that King made, the exercise of his significant gifts, his identification with the poor and oppressed were his best offering. His failings, his sins, like ours, do not need to be raised again and again, especially by those who have also been redeemed by the same Savior. Who among us, Matt, does not long for great service for God, knowing fully that we also drag our flesh, not to mention our history, around like a ball and chain? We may not have affairs. We may not smoke. But, we do have other loves, as Mark Lynch pointed out to us. We have chinks in our armor, skeletons in our own closets, sins that beset us, wants that we present as needs, long-held reputations that undermine our sincerest work. I understand why you wrote that. But, it will be great when, in the church, we can receive and love fully, welcome fully, acknowledge God’s great work of redemption and healing fully, knowing that when God chooses any of us to do something beautiful for Him, he has chosen a weak vessel, indeed. He has chosen someone whose breath may not reek of tobacco but of wrath or deceit or betrayal or destructive gossip. In choosing us, He has chosen someone who may not have had sex outside of marriage, but may have loved money, of all things, or order or control or himself. I, myself, have minimized the power of a person’s ministry because of the person’s failings. In doing that, I judge myself and find myself wanting. Thank you very much for posting the speech. I wish my life were as influential for good as the life of smoker and adulterer Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s a poke in the eye, isn’t it, that God chose King for such a time as that? It’s like giving Mozart the great gift. Oh, what we could have done for God with such talent!! Ha! I praise God, this morning, that He chose Martin. And, while there is much that could be said about Matt, Heather, Mark, William, Elisabeth, Ethan, Leslie, Teresa, Jim, Marc, and Dana, let the final word be that we answered the call to serve Christ, leaving a legacy of lasting impact that shines and inspires others through generations of His people. The fact that we were sinners? It goes without saying.

    • Heather, thank you so much for your meaningful comments about our flaws and our humanity. I have to admit that I wasn’t necessarily thinking about King’s flaws when I wrote that sentence, but more about the wide range of his influence in various arenas, both public and personal. That being said, I think you do raise an important point about God using us with our frailties. That’s something we all have seen in our own lives, as well as in Scripture and in history.

    • Well, Heather, it is a good reminder that all of us are flawed. I don’t want to excuse our brokenness and wrongs because it impacts people’s lives, but grace shows itself in surprising places as God uses broken people. I know that I’m thankful for that!

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