The Future that Awaits: A Thought on Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday

53 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. 53 years later, that dream is only partially realized. While we have seen segregated walls break down in many areas within our country, and freedoms given that were once withheld, there are still many walls that keep our nation from unity and peace. Within recent years we have seen racial tension steadily rise as the news media speaks concerning the violence that shakes our nation. With how this news is presented, one would think we are at war with ourselves, and that person would be right. War has broken out once again on the soil of our country, and fellow citizens are claiming the lives of fellow citizens. Not with guns and knives alone, but with words and hatred too. According to Dr. King, during the civil rights movement some found themselves and their destiny tied with the African American community. Today, we have not fully realized how our freedoms are inextricably bound together.

Dr. King had a dream, that “little black boys and black girls would be able join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” While this is more possible today than it was in Dr. King’s day, there still remains a gap between races and brotherhood. I will never fully understand the hardships  a person of another race may undergo, for I will never experience what they have. But this does not mean that I cannot empathize for them and suffer along with them in their oppression. For I too have a dream that one day we will be able to embrace those who look nothing like us, talk nothing like us, and act nothing like us with the kind of familial love one would extend to a distant kin. For you see, we are all made in the image of God.

There is rich theology in the children’s song “Jesus loves the little children of the world,” for “red, and yellow, black, and white” are all still precious in His sight. This is as true today as it was when God spoke the cosmos into existence. While I do not estimate that Martin’s dream or my own will ever be fully realized within our country or in this fallen world during my lifetime, one day it will. In Revelation 7:9, the author John shared a vision of a future expectation, saying, “After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the Lamb. They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the lamb!

That is the future that awaits. Equality before the throne, justice rolling down “like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Every racial barrier broken, every wall of segregation torn down, and every race before the Savior, worshipping Him side by side, and hand in hand.

For His Kingdom,

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