It was 48 years ago this month that Martin Luther King Jr. gave a brief, 17 minute speech that changed the way we think about racial relations in the United States. Who would have thought an idea—a vision—could have such a powerful impact? It didn’t change things overnight, and plenty of things still need to change, but something shifted in the consciousness of the country that day. We could see a future that we couldn’t see before. We could imagine ourselves in it. We could picture little white children and little black children holding hands and all of us sitting down together at the table of brotherhood—and we were motivated to work toward that vision. The power of dreaming isn’t to be underestimated.

In all the major turning points of history, people have dreamed. They have imagined a future better than the current reality. Are we still dreaming? Or have we become cynics who think nothing can be changed? What are our dreams? Let’s take some time this week to think them through, to put pictures and images to them, and to make sure those dreams are big enough to capture the wholeness of the Kingdom of God.

I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
29 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
30 I will show wonders in the heavens
and on the earth,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.

–Joel 2:28-30