Fifty years ago today, a man stood in Washington, D.C. in front of the Lincoln Memorial. He faced the Washington Memorial, the reflecting pool, and 250,000 people.
It was the largest Civil Rights demonstration to take place, and it was also one of the most civil Civil Rights demonstration. Rioting was common, for there was much passion concerning the issue at hand.
It had been eight years since Rosa Parks took a stand—actually, a sit—on a Montgomery, Ala. bus. And an entire century had passed since President Abraham Lincoln reminded the nation that “all men are created equal,” issuing The Emancipation Proclamation to free those held in slavery.
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom featured voices of the 1960s, like Mahalia Jackson and, its most famous leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
He stood on the steps of the Lincoln memorial, a historically fitting place. While President Lincoln and Dr. King fought on very different political specifics, the heart of the issue was the same: All men are created equal.
King’s I Have a Dream speech called for a world where black and white are viewed and treated no differently by each other; where a person’s character was recognized before their skin color—red, yellow, black, or white.
[Watch the speech in its entirety here .]
It has been fifty years. Are we a better nation today because of Dr. King’s words? Yes, I believe so. And for that, I offer my deep gratitude for him, his stand, and his words. Today he is rightly honored.
Are we where Dr. King hoped we would be in fifty years? Hmm, no.
Will we ever be a perfect country where prejudice of any kind doesn’t exist? I’m afraid not. But the dream is still worth chasing.
The War is Still On
But it’s not about what President Lincoln or Dr. King thought it was about. It’s not about slavery, segregation, communism, terrorism, or any of the reasons for which we’ve gone to the front lines.
It’s bigger: it’s a war on evil and its leader (who loves it when we fight over skin color, by the way). And there’s only one solution: Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ—the One who created one human race; the One who died that all might be freed from the slavery of sin; the One who lives that we might know Him and the power of His resurrection; the One who conquered sin and death; the One who is coming back to win the war, once and for all.
When He does come back—which will be soon—Dr. King’s dream will finally be fully realized:
“I have a a dream that 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.”
Fifty years, 150 years later, this is still our dream, our prayer: Maranatha—Come, Lord!