Although I will be headed back home in a few hours from a fantastic vacay with my family, I just wanted to take a few moments to encourage you to remember not only the DREAM of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr but the MAN behind the dream. He was just an ordinary person like you or me with an EXTRAORDINARY dream to make life better for EVERYONE. He believed that we could be great by serving, great by walking in purpose, great by just taking the first step with seeing the stair case, great by doing what is right when no one is looking, and great by living and walking in love. When we think of Dr. King’s dream, there were many who never thought it would come to past. Now although there are some facets of his dreams that still have yet to come to past, there are parts of the dream that have.
My question for you is what dream do you have that may seem insurmountable. What dream do you have that others may think sounds impossible? What dream or burden has God placed upon your heart that just won’t go away. I imagine that as our President, Barack Obama, is being sworn in today as the President of the United States, he never quite imagined his dream of influencing and changing the world would impact the world as it has done. I would dare say that there is something deep down on the inside of you that God has deposited within you that you just can’t shake. There are issues that don’t sit well with you, people who you believe deserve more, places in our country and world that need a servant leader like you to take the bull by the horns and break the mold and challenge the status quo. It is time for you to dream a dream like Dr. King and President Obama that is so BIG that it lives on long after you have left this earth. It is time for your dreams to be lived out and become a reality. It is time for you to step up and step out. It is your time to be great by serving…
As we celebrate Dr. King and President Obama on this great day, I will leave you with this great words from Dr. King’s speech, “The Drum Major Instinct”
But that isn’t what Jesus did; he did something altogether different. He said in substance, “Oh, I see, you want to be first. You want to be great. You want to be important. You want to be significant. Well, you ought to be. If you’re going to be my disciple, you must be.” But he reordered priorities. And he said, “Yes, don’t give up this instinct. It’s a good instinct if you use it right. (Yes) It’s a good instinct if you don’t distort it and pervert it. Don’t give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be first in love. (Amen) I want you to be first in moral excellence. I want you to be first in generosity. That is what I want you to do.”
And he transformed the situation by giving a new definition of greatness. And you know how he said it? He said, “Now brethren, I can’t give you greatness. And really, I can’t make you first.” This is what Jesus said to James and John. “You must earn it. True greatness comes not by favoritism, but by fitness. And the right hand and the left are not mine to give, they belong to those who are prepared.” (Amen)
And so Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. (Amen) That’s a new definition of greatness.
And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, (Everybody) because everybody can serve. (Amen) You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. (All right) You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. (Amen) You only need a heart full of grace, (Yes, sir, Amen) a soul generated by love. (Yes) And you can be that servant.