Black History Month: Do you have a dream?

On August 28th.  1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his dream.  We’ve read it.  Heard it.  And maybe even seen it.  But have we felt it?  Have we embraced it?  Have we made it our own?

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Right now, Taido and I are walking with the middle school students over at elevate through a new series called chazown.  That’s the Hebrew word for “vision”.  And because it’s Hebrew, that “ch” sound has that got-something-stuck-in-your-throat-cough sound you hear sometimes from fancy schmancy pastors in the pulpit.  The kids love it.

Through chazown, we’re asking these 6th-8th graders to get in touch with God’s vision for their lives.  But also, to get in touch with the vision of the church they attend.  Fellowship North has it’s own dream.  It’s own chazown.  We’ve read it.  Heard it.  Maybe even seen it.  But have we felt it?  Have we embraced it?  Have we made it our own?

            To mobilize a racially-unified family of God,

            Called out as the presence of Jesus in our world,

            To pursue His mission:  all people reconciled to God.

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I believe it starts with our students.  Not because I’m paid to believe that, and not because after school specials told me so growing up – but because the lunch room tells me so.  That place continues to be The Great Indicator.  When Taido and I visit the high schools, we see the world as it currently is.  Not how we want it to be.  Not how others spin it to us.  But how it is: right here, right now, clear as day.

The lunch room is divided; economics, status, and race all creating their own splits all across what could be a unified body.

But what if that division became united?  What if these students caught the vision?  What if they had their own chazown?  What if they lived out Dr. King’s dream?

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 tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

Do you feel that urgency?  That push for change to come – today?

As we fight to become a body of believers that is racially unified, a family of God that equally reflects the community that surrounds these walls, may we recognize not only the injustices in the world, even the broken parts of our own community, but may we also grab hold of the need for now.

In his speech, Dr. King repeats over and over, “I have a dream today.”  Injustice to justice.  Unrighteous to righteous.  But Dr. King wasn’t just a dreamer.  Dreamers dream dreams.

He was also a doer.

Do you have a dream today?  A vision?  A chazown?

Write it down.  Share it.  See it, feel it, embrace it.  Make it your own.

See it through.  Now.


Bobby Harrison is on staff at FN, where he works with middle and high school students. His precious wife Amy is also part of our staff. Their son Abe and dog Zeke are not yet on staff, although they do visit whenever they can. Bobby blogs here, and sometimes here too.

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