“I have a dream!” These words ring familiar to most everyone as stated by the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many admire this dream, while there are still racists who criticize the man and the message. His dream was something that needed to become a reality.
I have had friends and colleagues who are fine with people of other races going to the same grocery stores, department stores, gas stations, but they still think that different races should worship separately. They will be in for a rude awakening when they get to Heavem.
As a hospice chaplain, my most precious patients and families have much darker skin than I do, but I love their faith and enthusiasm! I cannot wait until I am scheduled to be in the homes of these families!
I know that many who read this may very well have spent their life raised in the rural South and may dislike what I say, but that does not change the fact that I have a dream. In certain parts of America and within certain Christian denominations, this dream is already a reality. I almost do not want anyone to know what denomination I am because of its negative connotation. Those within this denominational circle will brag on its stance on the Bible, but they disqualify that if they do not love all people.
My dream is simple…to worship in an ethnically diverse, gospel-preaching, doctrinally sound church. A church that is exciting and vibrant! A church that is reaching people of all backgrounds for Christ! A church that is colorblind!
You may say this is impossible. I beg to differ. My wife and I had the privilege of worshiping in a church this past Sunday where we were two of the three white people in attendance. We stayed and ate lunch with them. I have not had such kindness expressed to me in a long time. Their actions clearly displayed that they do not consider themselves to be a “black” church, but many have labeled it that as many churches in this area are known for being “white” churches.
The church my grandparents attended in Chesapeake, Virginia has been very welcoming of all races for years. It was once known as an independent Baptist church, but it was not like most I know. This is the kind of church where I want to belong, serve, and maybe by God’s grace even get a chance to serve.
I will ask one thing as I wrap this up – will you pray with me that God will continue to break down racial barriers among Christians so we can be what God has called us to be? Pray. Believe. Be a barrier-breaker.