Sunday’s Scripture ~ Exodus 2:1-10.
This Sunday the Tuskawilla UMC Family begins a six-week sermon series that will study Moses, the leader of the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt. We will use Rev. Dr. Mike Slaughter’s book Dare to Dream as a guide for this study. Each Sunday’s bulletin will include questions for your engagement and reflection as you (we) discern God’s dream – God’s purpose – for our lives as individuals and as a congregation.
When I consider the word dream my mind immediately goes to the words of a man – of a 20thCentury prophet – who spoke of his dream – a dream he hoped was and would be the dream of all people – from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
In March 1963 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his I Have A Dream Speech before 250,000 Americans – black and white; male and female; men, women, and children – during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Many consider this speech the defining moment in the Civil Rights Movement. Many continue to hold dear to the truths King spoke that day. Many hope and wait for the day that all the truths he spoke will indeed become self-evident.
I count myself among those persons.
As I reread King’s speech* this week I am struck by this brief sentence at the heart of his witness, “We cannot walk alone.” For King this meant that for Americans to truly be free – black and white; male and female; men, women, and children – Americans had to believe and confess that our futures, our identities, our hopes, our fears, our nation, our lives were and are all caught up together. We are connected. We hold in common with every person everywhere our creation in the image of God. Because of our creation we have inherent worth, inherent dignity, and inherent value that cannot be stripped away by any person or system or prejudice.
Shortly after Adam’s creation God created Eve so that Adam would not be alone. They would be helpmates for one another, modeling and teaching all generations that we were created out of relationship and created for relationship. From the beginning we were created to walk and work together. And yet history – American, World, and Biblical – tells again and again the stories of how we have made a mess of things and resisted walking and working together.
King made this confession on behalf of a nation. And then he professed these words of faith,
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 mountain 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.
Work together. Pray together. Struggle together. Go to jail together. Stand up for freedom together. These are the makings of King’s dream so that all people would and will be free one day.
What an incredible dream. What a remarkable legacy. May these words continue to inspire us as God’s people to walk together rather than walking alone.
Prayer: “Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share, but our toil he doth richly repay; not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross, but is blest if we trust and obey. Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”** Amen.
**“Trust and Obey,” The United Methodist Hymnal 467.