I say to you today, my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.
Those words from Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. inspired the civil rights movement of the 60's and 50 years later, racial barriers continue to fall.
Nearly 2000 years ago a Jewish Rabbi made a similar declaration before his rag-tag band of followers. (Matthew 16:13-18)
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
From the time of His ascension to His return in power and glory Jesus said I am going to be about one thing; I am going to build of my church. I have dream, Jesus said; a dream in which people are radically devoted to God and committed to one another as they live out their lives in community, and dedicated to reaching those outside the community of faith. I have a dream, a dream of building prevailing churches.
My friends at Valley as we do church together, as we do life together, I just want to remind us of the centrality of the church in the world today. I want to call you agian to be faithful in serving the church because the church of Jesus Christ is the hope of the world!