Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
Dreaming dreams . . . it is so very different from seeing visions. In some respects and among those who decipher such things, to dream a dream implies a deliberate act. It attends to the consciousness; the hope of a person for something good or profound to occur in the future. Visions are different. The biblical references to seeing visions lends itself to a supernatural sight. Thus the vision is from the sight of God and the dream is from the heart of man.
By the time Dr. King came into national prominence, a myriad of civil conflicts had already occurred. Whatever we might think of our current national unrest, none of it compares to the chaos of the 1960’s. On the heels of desegregation, a shift in how America viewed its citizens began to change. However, it did not come without a fight. Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas showcased one of the many struggles. Sit-ins, which are almost foreign to this generation, were becoming routine. High pressure water hoses abused the rights of African Americans in multiple cities as they attempted to exercise their rights for fair and equitable treatment. I have not even scratched the surface.
Dr. King had a dream. He preached his heart and delivered his burden. As I review his words, they remind me of the image of the Church where character is premier; people exude love and not judgment; and a higher law is raised to honor all of God’s children. King’s dream seems to be a picture of the Church of Jesus Christ. It is a house of refuge and inclusion.
My dream of our church is the same. God has given me a vision for the church, but I have a personal hope that New Life Fellowship will be a place where the outside conflicts and divisions of this world are suspended. I dream of a church family, a body, that is concerned about one another more than themselves. I dream of a place where we all have a VESTED interest in each others lives. Where we help the hurting and lead people toward Jesus Christ. I dream of a place where ethnicities are celebrated and embraced; where everyone has a ministry place; a future; and a home.
While we are not the only church to have this hope, let it be that in our city, on this corner – at the Crossroads of America – we dream dreams of unity, hope, and love.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole