Text: Matthew 14:22-33
There is no doubt nor debating that Martin Luther King Jr’s most famous speech was his “I Have a Dream” speech delivered to a huge crowd gathered in Washington, DC in 1964. His words still ring in our ears. Listen to a selection:
In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice…
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and 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, and 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.
Those are unforgettable words. But it is a lesser known quote of King’s that I’m thinking about this morning. Speaking of and defining the faith that he referenced in his I Have a Dream speech, King said: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” It is stepping out on this faith, and the doubt that comes with such faith, that I want to talk about for just a few minutes this morning.
Twice in my life I feel like I can honestly say that I “stepped out on faith.” [Read more…]