Today is the 45th anniversary as Dr King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. While this blog is not about racial equality, we cannot shy away from discussions of equality. Jesus died for all, Jew and Gentile, light-skinned and dark-skinned, male and female, young and old. In that sense, the speech has lessons for all of us.

The speech, by the way, was an afterthought. He had already finished his speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial, and someone shouted “What about the dream?” The “dream” speech is one he had given many times in other venues, but none were recorded the way this appearance was. And none to such a large and anxious audience. And so he stayed standing and began to speak those famous words “I have a dream…

Dr King had been arrested and recently released, and a coalition of white ministers had asked him to slow down his message.

He said no.

“We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilising drug of gradualism.”

I remind you now of these words. Dr King, a pastor, was nonetheless that day speaking of racial equality, democracy and justice. I remind you, instead of your calling as pastors and church leaders of your mission to spread the message of salvation equally to all people.

Many American churches are struggling with old ideas and practices while overall faith and church attendance slips to near one quarter of this “Christian” nation. This is not the time to “take the tranquilising drug of gradualism.” You need to understand the fierce urgency of Now.

Don’t quit. Don’t grow weary in well-doing. Don’t wait for “someday.” Be aware of the now, and press on!

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