Devotional – January 18, 2021
Pastor Tim’s Devotional
Scripture Reading – Isaiah 40:3-5
A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Today is the day that we remember and honor the life and work of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. In doing so I was drawn to watch again his seventeen minute “I have a Dream” speech (https://youtu.be/_yOBncaiito
). A speech Dr. King delivered on August 28th, 1963 from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before an ethnically diverse crowd of 250,000 who had gathered for the non-violent March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
The images of the peaceful crowd stretching all the way from the Lincoln Memorial to the National Mall offered a poignant contrast to the events of January 6th, and I was struck by how current the words of Dr. King’s speech from 58 years ago sounded today.
Dr. King’s “I have a dream” litany begins in the last seven minutes of his speech and the passage from Isaiah 40 gives witness to that dream:
“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.
Dr. King’s dream is grounded in the bedrock of the promises of God. It is a dream that cost him his life. The Biblical hope that gave him the courage and faith to stand up and to remind our nation of God’s desire for racial justice, is the hope that calls all of us to do the same. With the resurgence of white supremacy and racism it feels as if we are standing at another crossroads as a nation. As those who bear the name of Christ, may we be reminded of the value of each person as a beloved child of God and commit ourselves to bringing an end to racial injustice and the suffering and division that it causes among us.